This year, the Government has launched 17,000 free and subsidised course places for people seeking to upskill, reskill or return to work after a career break. Courses are available in a wide range of skills areas where there is a demand for skilled workers including artificial intelligence, smart factory technology, sustainable energy, medical device technology and cybersecurity.
Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 courses are managed by the HEA on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, and are delivered by providers right across the country through classroom-based, online and blended learning programmes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Springboard+
I’ve done a Springboard+ course before. Can I do another one?
Former participants are permitted to apply for another Springboard+ course, as long as they still meet the eligibility requirements. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that on popular courses, priority may be given to applicants who haven’t studied through Springboard+ before.
What are the different eligibility categories to apply for a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course?
To apply you must fall into one of the following categories:
Can my employer sponsor me to do a course?
Level 6 Springboard+ courses are free for all, but people in employment must pay 10% of the course fee for any Level 7 to 9 course. If you think the skills you will gain from the course will benefit your employer and your team, why not ask your employer about funding or part-funding the subsidised fee?
If I accept a place on a Springboard+ course will it affect my Social Welfare payments?
You should inform your local Social Protection Officer of any changes in circumstance, including your plans to take up a Springboard+ course. If you are planning on doing a part-time course, you should register on the Part Time Education Option (PTEO) to retain your Social Welfare Payments. If you plan on doing a full-time course, DEASP recipients who have been in receipt of their payment for 9 out of the previous 12 months can apply for a Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). Please note that some restrictions are applied to our 1-year ICT conversion courses.
I am in receipt of the Covid-19 payment, am I eligible for a Springboard+ course?
You are! If you’re receiving a Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you can apply for a part-time Springboard+ course and your fee will be waived. You should discuss this with your social protection officer at the local INTREO office.
If you are receiving the temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy however, you are still classes as employed and will be eligible to pay the 10% subsidised fee for courses over Level 7.
Want to know more about Springboard+?
Experienced guidance counsellors are available to advise you on potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 courses on the Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
You can also find out more by joining our Q&A with guidance counsellor Joan O’Reilly at 6pm on Thursday 20th August. You can register for the online event here and if you have a question for Joan, submit it now on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Apply for a Springboard+ Course
Most courses approved under Springboard+ 2020 and HCI Pillar 1 commence in autumn 2020 with a small number starting later in 2020 and in early 2021. Details of all Springboard+ courses are available at: www.springboardcourses.ie.Back