One hundred free college places are available for jobseekers at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) from this September, through the government’s Springboard initiative.
Springboard aims to help jobseekers get the skills they need in order to return to work, specifically targeting areas where there are job opportunities and growth.
Announced yesterday, Monday, by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD and the Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD, the places are available on five different courses in project management, green engineering, computing, polymer technology for medical devices and welding for advanced manufacturing.
Speaking at the launch Minister Quinn said: “The biggest challenge facing our country is getting our people back to work and Springboard is aimed at doing exactly that. This year work placements are being offered on almost every Springboard course because such placements are a really important way of improving employment prospects.”
According to AIT’s Academic Registrar, Dr Joseph Ryan, “Springboard is an excellent example of educational institutions responding to the needs of society by providing the means for people to access areas where there is a demand for highly skilled staff. AIT has a strong track record of success in delivering Springboard programmes, with many graduates immediately enjoying career success.”
Since 2011, more than 16,000 jobseekers have participated on Springboard courses with a €54 million investment from the Exchequer. In 2014/15, the government will spend a further €25 million on Springboard.
Springboard is part of the government’s Skills to Work initiative aimed at making it easier for jobseekers and employers to know what government skills initiatives are available to them.
Further information about the free Springboard courses at AIT is available at www.ait.ie/springboard. Application to any of the courses is through the Springboard website, www.springboardcourses.ie.