October 20, 2021
Business News

Kilkenny employees can ‘upskill’ for free on new courses unveiled today

KILKENNY employees or people who are looking to return to the workplace can apply for 500 free or subsidised places on over 25 new courses to upskill our workforce.

The courses will take place at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and the Institute of Technology Carlow.

They are part of 9,000 free or subsidised places on 285 new courses nationwide which will be funded under the Springboard+ 2019 initiative launched by the Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh and Minister of State John Halligan earlier today.

For the second year in a row, the courses will be available for those in full time employment as well as those who are returning to work (formally known as homemakers) and unemployed or formerly self-employed.

Courses this year has a focus on digital skills, soft skills, management and leadership, and the workplace of the future. All courses address at least one of these areas in detail, with many including all four of these critical areas.

Courses on offer through Springboard+ include cutting-edge training in blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, virtual reality and smart factory technology. Employees, jobseekers and those returning to work can all avail of these free or subsidised courses.

Minister McHugh said: “Springboard+ training programmes provide people who are unemployed, those looking to return to the workforce and those in employment with a great opportunity to upskill or reskill in areas in which employers need skilled workers.

“As technology evolves, it brings with it new ways of doing business and new economic opportunities. The Government recognises that it is essential that people in employment have the opportunity to keep pace with these advances.”

Springboard+ courses are free for people who are unemployed, those who were previously self-employed and returners to the workforce. Courses are also free for people in employment, on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee is funded by the Government, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Recent research undertaken by the HEA has shown that 90% of participants who were on the Live Register at the start of their courses are now in employment.

In the past nine years more than €192m has been allocated to Springboard+, providing over 55,000 places. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

The 9,151 places on offer under Springboard+ 2019 represents an investment of €34.3m from the National Training Fund with co-funding from the European Union under the European Social Fund, as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Candidates who wish to participate in Springboard+ 2019 will find full details on the approved courses on the dedicated information and applications website: www.springboardcourses.ie

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