The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) has announced that 350 places on higher education courses will be provided to unemployed individuals via the Springboard initiative.
Springboard 2012 was launched earlier this year by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD. The idea behind the programme is to upskill unemployed persons in areas of identified skills needs, in an effort to fill current and future job shortages in key areas.
The eligibility criteria have been expanded to include people who were previously self-employed and people in receipt of an extended number of social welfare payments, such as Disability Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.
Managed by the Higher Education Authority, Springboard 2012 allows participants to retain their benefits and, if they find a job while on a course, they will still be permitted and encouraged to finish the programme.
A total of 6,000 new Springboard places were announced earlier this year, and 350 of these places will come from ITB.
“The funding for these courses will provide students with internationally recognised qualifications in the areas of engineering, computer-aided design, computing and forensics, digital media, retrofit, energy efficiency and languages,” said Dr Mary Meany, president of ITB. “Many of the courses are designed to build on existing skills and will open up new opportunities for people currently unemployed.”
ITB has been successful in attracting funding for 15 new courses through the Springboard programme.