Springboard+ provides higher education courses in areas where skills are most needed. Courses are from level 6 (certificate) to level 9 (master’s degree) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). They are delivered by public and private higher education institutions around the country.
There are 10,158 places on 294 courses under Springboard+ 2021. There are also 1,101 places on 1 and 2-year information technology (ICT) graduate conversion courses on offer under the initiative. The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) will also fund 1,869 places on 78 graduate courses.
Courses are free for people who are unemployed, who were previously self-employed, and people returning to work. NFQ level 6 courses (higher and advanced certificates) are also free for employed people.
For employed learners on courses from NFQ level 7 to level 9, the state pays 90% of the course fee, with learners paying just 10% of the fee. Levels 7 to 9 include ordinary and honours bachelor degrees, higher and post-graduate diplomas, and master’s degrees.