Apply now for springboard+ upskilling initiative

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Free Certified Courses available for Jobseekers

If you’re a homemaker, unemployed or looking to upskill, now is the time to think about your future. The Springboard+ Upskilling initiative in higher education has free courses at certificate, degree and masters level. Subsided by the government, Springboard+ provides qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy. However, anyone who’s working and wants to progress professionally, don’t worry. There are plenty of programmes which are 90% funded for employed.

Specialised Industry Training

Thining about applying? Well, there’s plenty on offer. Across the country, there are 8,000 places available throughout 245 courses for this academic year. As well as previous offerings, covering everything from science to manufacturing, this year has new opportunities in robotics and artificial intelligence. Reflecting the current economic growth, 2018 has 25% more placements available than last year.

Potential Applicants

Are you eligible to apply? Springboard+ provides free higher education courses to unemployed people, those previously self-employed and those returning to work. Additionally, courses will be free for employed people on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee will be funded by the Government. Ultimately, these participants will contribute just 10% of the fee.


This is certainly a successful scheme. The 8,088 places on offer for Springboard+ 2018 represents an investment of €30.438m from the National Training Fund and the European Union’s Social Fund. Since 2011, over €161 million has been allocated to Springboard+, providing over 47,000 places. The Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, manage this programme year on year.

Government Response

Last week Ministers Richard Bruton and John Halligan launched the new suite of courses. The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton credited Ireland’s economic bounceback to many enterprises and workers who reinvented their business. ‘We have also seen nearly 50,000 people reinvent themselves by using Springboard to change career. This is still a very exciting pathway which we are now opening to those in employment and homemakers.’

Following on, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan commented on the future. He questioned how the development of new technologies will affect the future workplace. ‘What is new and innovative today will be outdated in no time. It will be vital for employees to continue to upskill and reskill to keep up to date with the latest technologies.’

Are you looking to upskill? Search for a list of available courses or visit our free Education Expo event and talk to training providers in person about your opportunities.


Gemma is a nomadic writer, filmmaker, & journalist.
SQT Training accredited with All-Star Trusted Education Partner for 2018-19
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  1. CLAIRE GUTHRIE 10th August 2018 at 12:05 am

    Looking to do go practice management. Any info would be great. ImOk living in west of Ireland.

    1. Cormac O' Meara 10th August 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Claire,

      Here’s management courses on the Springboard website.

      Best of luck!

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