THE GOVERNMENT HAS confirmed 6,100 new places are being made available to jobseekers through the ‘Springboard’ programme, which aims to upskill those hoping to return to work.
Courses on the programme generally take a year or less, are free to jobseekers and lead to awards from certificate to post-grad level.
Springboard specifically targets where job opportunities are growing, including ICT.
Announcing the places, Education Minister Ruairí 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.
Over 16,000 people have taken part in Springboard courses since 2011.
According to skills minister Ciaran Cannon:
I’m pleased to see that 94 per cent of participants would recommend the experience to other jobseekers.
Of the class of 2013, more than half were in sustainable employment or self-employment within six months of completing their studies, with some courses reporting employment rates of 90 per cent.