Over 90 places have been allocated to Maynooth University to provide higher education courses under this year’s Springboard+ initiative.
The government initiative – which is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills – provides free courses for people who are unemployed, returning to work, or were previously self-employed.
For the first time this year, people in employment can also participate in Springboard+ by paying a small fee – just 10 per cent of normal course fees.
Springboard+ courses on offer in Maynooth University this year will include Data Analytics and Software Development.
Commenting at the launch of Springboard+ 2018, Dr. Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement at the Higher Education Authority, said: “Springboard+ presents an exciting opportunity for people in Kildare and surrounding areas to reskill or upskill for little or no cost. Whether you’re working at the moment or unemployed, this is a great way to strengthen your CV, improve your skills and progress your career.”
Nationwide, over 8,000 places will be available on Springboard+ courses over the coming academic year, including courses focused on emerging employment sectors, such as Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. The number of course-places has increased by 25 per cent since last year.
“One of the best things about this year’s Springboard+ programme is that 73 per cent of the courses offer flexible learning options. These include blended learning, e-learning and distance education options.
“This means people from Kildare can, effectively, participate in courses anywhere in Ireland – and vice versa. This level of flexibility is a key factor in enabling people in employment or returning to work to easily access courses.”
Also commenting on the announcement, Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton, T.D. said: “Ireland’s economic bounceback has been achieved by many enterprises and workers who reinvented their business, but we have also seen nearly 50,000 people reinvent themselves by using Springboard to change career. This is still a very exiting pathway which we are now opening to those in employment and homemakers. There are now over 8,000 places on 245 courses across the country - a 25% increase on last year.”
Details of all Springboard+ courses available in Kildare and nationwide are available at: www.springboardcourses.ie. Guidance counsellors are also available to advise interested applicants through the free-phone Springboard+ helpline, 1800-303523.