Springboard+ offers a choice of almost 200 free, part-time and intensive conversion courses in higher education from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level. Mainly aimed at people who are unemployed and who need to re-skill to get back into work. Special provisions for those who needed ICT skills as that was a significant need identified by Irish employers. Course providers had to work closely with employer to justify the need for the proposed courses and to build in internship or work opportunities into the courses. It has been in place since 2011.
The employment situation in Ireland deteriorated sharply from 2007 rising from approx. 4% to over 14% in 2011. This Government initiative was a measure to deal with the rising number of people who were losing their jobs.
HE Providers were invited to submit courses for funding under this scheme. The courses had to be directly linked to employment, informed by national and regional reports on skills needs and supported by industry partners.