The requirement of being out of work for six months or more to access a Springboard training programme is being relaxed for the final phase of recruitment for 2011, according to Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn TD.
“Having given first opportunity to this target group I have now decided to waive the six months waiting period, in response to the huge level of demand from unemployed people for Springboard programmes,” he said.
"This includes people who have lost their jobs within the last six months and people who have been unemployed for much longer but have managed to find temporary work, for a few weeks or months at a time.
"These people will now be facilitated to take up the remaining places available under Springboard.”
Some 6,000 places are being provided through Springboard as part of the Government’s Job Initiative, launched last May. Over 5,000 unemployed people have applied for free course places in this year’s programme.
Courses are free, part-time, and are at certificate, degree and postgraduate level.
Under the original criteria a person had to be six months unemployed before they could commence a Springboard programme.
However, experience with the roll out of the scheme has been that unemployed people who need to re-skill want to be able to do so as soon as possible.
The requirement also potentially excluded people who were able to get temporary work for short periods of time, either at home or overseas.
Details of the remaining course places, eligibility criteria and an online application facility is available here.