About Springboard+

Springboard+ began in 2011 as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative. Its aim is to provide free and heavily subsidised upskilling and reskilling opportunities through higher education in areas where there is an identified skills need. A particular emphasis of the initiative is upskilling people who are unemployed or in receipt of a social welfare payment.

Springboard+ complements the core State-funded education and training system and is one of a number of initiatives designed to support people back into employment, improve the skills of those in employment, and to build the supply of skilled graduates to meet current and future skill needs of the Irish economy.

Springboard+ also forms part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland 2019 which has as a central objective of how to plan for an Irish economy of the 21st century. The further development of skilled workers remains central to attracting ongoing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the further development of our Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector.

Springboard+ 2021-22

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a considerable impact on the Irish economy and society. Significant supports have been introduced by the Government during the crisis, including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (later replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme).

The COVID-19 adjusted unemployment rate for December 2020 was 20.4% for all persons including those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) have indicated that economic activity will return to normal during the latter part of 2021, however the unemployment rate will average at 15%. With this in mind, Springboard+ in 2021 continues to have a dual focus of upskilling and reskilling people who remain out of the workforce and on upskilling those in employment.

Springboard+ Key Objectives

  1. Support those who are unemployed, formerly self-employed, and those who have been out of the workforce for some time (“Returners”) to return to sustainable employment. In 2021, an importance has also been placed on recognising trends emerging in industries due to the impact of COVID-19 and how those displaced by its impact can be supported.
  2. Provide opportunities for workforce development to enhance the skill levels of those already in employment; to increase the national rate of engagement in Life-Long Learning; to reskill those whose current occupation may be at risk from technological and other developments. The four areas of digital skills, transversal skills, management and leadership skills and the workplace of the future are significant principles addressed under this objective.
  3. Enhance collaboration between enterprise and higher education to design and deliver relevant higher education courses that support job creation and expansion in line with the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland, National Skills Strategy, and National Development Plan.
  4. Enhance the skills profile of the labour force to meet the targets and objectives of Future Jobs Ireland the National Development Plan and the National Skills Strategy, Technology Skills 2022, Languages Connect, Addressing the Skills Needs Arising from the Potential Trade Implications of Brexit and other skills reports.