For immediate release:
23rd February 2012
Education key to getting people “Job-Ready” – Minister Quinn launches call for new €10 million Springboard Programme to provide free part-time higher education places
The Education sector will play a central role in successfully implementing the Government’s new ‘Pathways to Work’ plan and ensuring people are ‘Job-Ready’ according to Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD.
“As Minister for Education and Skills, it is my responsibility to ensure that the opportunities we offer to those who have lost their jobs are flexible enough to meet the entire spectrum of needs of what is a very diverse cohort in the current economic downturn.
“An optimal response must be to provide relevant education and training at all levels in areas where we know there are clearly identified employment opportunities available for the right people with the right skills.
I’m therefore delighted to announce a new call for Springboard 2012; a key plank of our response.”
Springboard 2012 will provide free part-time higher education places to enable unemployed people to upskill and reskill in areas of identified skills needs where sustainable employment opportunities are expected to arise.
Educational institutions have been asked to submit proposals for courses which can be included in the programme.
In keeping with Springboard’s aim of leading to employment, courses in the programme must address an identified current or future skills need. These include information and communications technology (ICT); the green economy; biopharma-pharmachem; the food and beverage sector; international financial services; the medical devices sector; wholesale and retail; and cross-enterprise skills needs, including international sales skills, specialist business and management skills, and entrepreneurship.
It is anticipated that the applications process for students will be launched in May 2012 and that courses will commence from the summer onwards.
This new call for Springboard 2012 is in addition to announcements earlier this month of an extra 500 places on the existing Springboard programme and 750 new places on graduate conversion programmes to meet the skills needs of the ICT sector. These 750 places are being provided under the new joint Government- industry ICT Action Plan.