Springboard provides an opportunity to contribute in a very targeted way to the national recovery project. The Higher Education Authority, is managing Springboard on behalf of the Department of Education and is a hugely important initiative within higher education.
Springboard provides free higher education opportunities to a proportion of the hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland who lost their jobs in recent years as a result of the economic crash. These industries will not recover in any significant way therefore Springboard provides people with the opportunity to reskill and get back to work, thus contributing to building Ireland’s future.
Springboard courses are all in areas there is a proven shortage of skills currently, and in the coming years. Each course aims to cross-skill or upskill participants to restart their careers, and to provide a dynamic pipeline of graduates for enterprise sectors that are growing and expanding.
Springboard has been running since 2011, with over 10,000 people enrolled in courses to date and 40% of those are back in work six months after their course.
Springboard courses have been designed in consultation with employers to ensure that the courses are relevant, up-to-date, and geared towards making participants fully job-ready. Some graduates will also have got recent additional, focused work placement experience as part of their qualification, a very valuable complement to their course when they prepare for the jobs market and meet employers in interview situations.
Springboard has published two comprehensive evaluations of outcomes to-date, with participants and graduates, with the colleges involved, and with enterprise. We have built a rigorous evaluation framework into the initiative; we published a first-stage, process evaluation in 2012; we reported on outcomes to-date and Springboard 2012 in early 2013; and we will continue to monitor and report on the impact of Springboard at six-monthly intervals.
Springboard aims to help get careers restarted, to get lives back on track, to be able to contribute in full again to their families and communities.