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Springboard and ICT Skills Conversion Programme

Springboard and ICT Skills Conversion Programme

Springboard which was first launched as part of the Government’s Job’s Initiative in 2011, is a specific initiative that strategically targets funding of free higher education courses to enable unemployed and previously self-employed people to upskill or reskill in areas where there are identified labour market skills shortages or employment opportunities. Springboard courses range from levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) . Courses are delivered in areas such as ICT, manufacturing, international financial services, skills to trade internationally and entrepreneurial/business start-up skills. Work placements are offered on almost all of the courses.

This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union under the European Social Fund.

The ICT skills conversion programme is being provided as part of the joint Government-Industry ICT Action Plan 2014 - 2018. The programme is targeted at jobseekers who already hold a level 8 or equivalent qualification and have the capacity and underlying aptitude, to undergo an intensive full-time programme of study and work experience, to acquire honours degree level ICT programming skills. This year the ICT skills conversion programme will also be available to eligible participants on a pilot part-time, two year option. The programmes are fully funded by the Department of Education and Skills and no fees are charged to participants.

This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union under the European Social Fund.

Springboard+ 2016 will incorporate Springboard courses and the ICT skills conversion programme, providing for 5,825 places on 180 courses in 36 public and private educational institutions throughout Ireland. All courses selected for funding under Springboard+ 2016 are in areas of identified enterprise skills needs based on Expert Group on Future Skills Needs research. Courses were selected following a competitive call for proposals by an independent evaluation panel using published criteria that included value for money, flexible delivery, engagement with industry and skills relevance. Courses approved for funding in 2016 will be in the following skills areas: ICT, manufacturing which includes the biopharma sector, construction, international financial services, entrepreneurship, cross-enterprise skills and the hospitality sector.

To date over 33,000 free higher education places have been provided under Springboard+

How to Apply

Further information on Springboard+ 2016 including entry requirements and eligibility criteria are available on the dedicated information and applications website: www.springboardcourses.ie.Applications are submitted online and decisions around the award of places on the programmes are a matter for individual course providers.


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

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.      

To be considered eligible for approval, Springboard+ courses must seek to address an identified current or future skills need.

Course proposals must be submitted online via http://skillsdirect.hea.ie

The closing date for submission of proposals was 13.00 on Friday 24th March 2017.

Download the Call document and the ICT conversion guidance document

This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union under the European Social Fund.

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