Ministers McHugh and Halligan Announce Competitive Call for Springboard 2019

14 January 2019 

Ministers McHugh and Halligan Announce Competitive Call for Springboard+ 2019

Springboard Logos

The primary objective is to provide upskilling and reskilling courses to develop the talent base in Ireland in key growth sectors of the economy. Further information is available at:

Springboard+ 2019

Focus on skills for the workplace of the future

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. together with the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan T.D. today issued a competitive call to all higher education providers for course proposals which will be funded under Springboard+ 2019.

Now in its ninth year, Springboard+ has to date provided 55,000 free higher education places, primarily to jobseekers in need of upskilling or reskilling to allow them to re-enter the labour market. €34.438 million has been allocated for Springboard+ 2019, which will provide for up to 9,000 places on a broad range of courses.

The call for proposals for 2019 puts a particular focus on four key areas, which have been deemed by government as being of critical importance at this time: digital skills, transversal skills, management and leadership skills and the workplace of the future, which includes emerging new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Speaking today Minister McHugh said “The skills required for many jobs are changing significantly as technology changes how we work. It is essential that at every stage of their working life people can access appropriate training to gain new and relevant skills. Springboard+ is a key part of the Government’s strategy to ensure we are planning for the future skills needs of our economy, which is critical to delivering on our ambitions as a nation.”

The call document also highlights the skills needs that may be required to respond to Brexit.

Last year, the eligibility criteria for Springboard+ was expanded to include all those in employment who wished to upskill or reskill to meet identified skills needs in the economy. This built on previous expansions of the programme to include returners, including homemakers and carers, and those in employment who wished to upskill or reskill to meet specific emerging skills needs in specific sectors.

Minister Halligan said “I am delighted that Springboard+ in 2019 will continue to have a dual focus of upskilling and reskilling people who remain out of the workforce and also a focus on upskilling those in employment. The further development of skilled workers remains central to our ability to respond to the changing world of work.”

As in previous years, Level 6 courses will remain free to all participants. Returners and those in receipt of certain allowances, including Jobseekers Benefit, will continue to be able to access courses free of charge. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee will continue to be funded by the Government, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

The initiative is funded through the National Training Fund and the European Social Fund.

For full details please refer to the following documents:

Springboard+ 2019 Call for Proposals

ICT Conversion Guidance 2019

Springboard+ 2019 Presentation on Call Process

Q&A – Springboard+ 2019

For further information on Springboard+ please contact