Launch of latest Springboard+ offering of 5,825 free higher education places

Springboard+ 2016 is the latest offering of free part-time and full-time higher education places to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities for up to 5,825 jobseekers.

Springboard is designed to encourage a response by educational institutions to meet the emerging skill needs of enterprise. All courses approved for funding under Springboard+ are selected by an independent panel following a competitive tendering process.

Almost half the places are on ICT courses reflecting the continuing demand for skills in this area. Skills for manufacturing are also significant reflecting the strong performance of this sector.

There are 180 courses, both full- and part-time, in 36 educational institutions across all of the regions.

Announcing the 5,825 free places Minister Bruton said:

Today’s announcement reflects a commitment in the Programme for Government to deliver a step change in our capacity to educate, develop, deploy and retain talent. The competitive tendering model used to select Springboard+ courses is a good one. I will be considering how this model, along with other incentives, can be developed and utilised to encourage further responses to skill needs and partnership between the third level sector and enterprise.

Minister Halligan underlined the importance of cooperation with industry.

All the courses available under the programme are in areas of identified skills needs based on industry input and guidance from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs. This engagement with industry allows Springboard+ to help us in responding quickly to developing areas of skills needs.

The 5,825 places now on offer represent a €28,634,030 investment from the National Training Fund and will equip jobseekers with new skills in sectors with good employment prospects.

[rev_slider Stel]


To date over €113 million has been allocated to Springboard from Exchequer funding, providing for over 33,000 places.

Full details on Springboard+ together with the eligibility criteria, are available on

– See more at: