Call to Higher Education providers for course proposals to be funded under Springboard+ 2017

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Deputy Kevin 'Boxer' Moran.

Longford/Westmeath TD, Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran is calling on the biopharma and medtech sectors to become involved in Springboard+ 2017, the scheme aimed at helping jobseekers to upskill and ultimately improve their employment prospects.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) which manages Springboard+ on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills has issued a competitive Call to all Higher Education providers for course proposals which will be funded under Springboard+ 2017.

Springboard+ forms part of the Action Plan for Education, our plan to make the Irish education and training system the best in Europe within a decade.  

Now in its seventh year, Springboard+ has to date provided over 35,000 free higher education places, primarily to jobseekers in need of upskilling or reskilling to allow them to re-enter the labour market. It involves a job placement, which has been a very successful feature achieving high employment outcomes. Over 80% have entered permanent employment.

It can now be extended to other priority groups where new talent can be reached and supported. From 2017 the eligibility criteria for Springboard+ will be expanded to include:

* Homemakers, and
* Those in employment in the Biopharma/Med Tech sector who wish to upskill or reskill to meet a specific emerging skills need.

Deputy Moran commented, "Upskilling and reskilling is becoming a regular feature of working life for many people, and the programme is particularly suited to support that need. Given the success of this innovative programme to date we hope we will be in a position to expand the Springboard+ model further in the years ahead.

“When the initiative was first introduced in 2011 unemployment was at 15%. Unemployment has now dropped to 6.8% and over 200,000 more people are at work than in early 2012 when the Action Plan for Jobs was launched. Springboard has been particularly successful at giving people the skills to get back into the workforce. 80% of Springboard participants (2011 – 2015) are no longer on the Live Register.

"This year programme is being expanded to Homemakers, and those in employment in the Biopharma/Med Tech sector to meet a specific emerging skills need. Given the success of this innovative programme to date it is hoped to expand the Springboard+ model in the years ahead."