According to the latest update from the Department of Education and Skills an additional 17,000 places will be made available through Springboard+ 2020 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1. These programmes will provide free or subsidized education on selected courses. The places will be available to people seeking to increase their qualifications or change the direction of their careers to be a better fit for the opportunities of the modern workforce. Selected courses are strategically centred on digital skills, soft skills, management and leadership, and the workplace of the future.
The Government recognised an increased need for allocation of resources towards upskilling and reskilling workforce affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Additional €10m in funding for the initiatives allowed to create:
- 11,074 places on 332 courses under Springboard+ 2020
- 5,891 places on 93 courses over three years for Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1.
With safety as the top priority, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, confirmed that 90% of Springboard courses will be ready to deliver teaching online or in mixed format.
Springboard+ is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education. It provides free and heavily subsidised higher education opportunities in strategic fields. Initially the aim of the initiative was to provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities for the unemployed. In the recent years, however, the initiative is available regardless of the current employment status.
Majority of Springboard courses are part-time leading to awards at certificate, degree and post-graduate level.
Springboard courses will open for applications on 25 June 2020. Updated eligibility criteria will be available then.
Human Capital Initiative
The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) supports the Higher Education Sector by funding additional places on skills-focused programmes.
There are three main pillar of Human Capital Initiative:
- Pillar 1 – Full-Time Graduate Conversion Courses
- Pillar 2 – Additional Places on Existing Full-Time Undergraduate Provision
- Pillar 3 – Innovation and Agility
HCI Pillar 1 is run alongside the Springboard+. Your current employment status does not affect your eligibility to apply. Admission is free for people who are eligible for the DEASP Back to Education Allowance. Other applicants will have to pay just 10% of the course fee.