Springboard 2011: New Programmes for the Unemployed at IT, Tralee
No Loss of Benefits for Those Who Take Up Places

Springboard 2011, New Programmes for the Unemployed at IT, Tralee As part of the Governmentâ¿¿s new Springboard initiative The Institute of Technology, Tralee today unveiled a range of programmes which will be offered on a part-time basis this September. Nationally, Springboard will provide 6,000 new places on higher education programmes for unemployed people. The scheme is targeted at those who were previously working but lost their jobs or were made redundant and who, with some upskilling, could fill current or future job shortages.   Those who undertake the courses will retain their benefits and if they find a job, they will still be permitted and encouraged to finish their course.

A total of 9 part-time courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, all validated on the National Framework of Qualifications (levels 6 â¿¿ 9) will be delivered by various departments at the ITT.  The programmes offer in excess of 200 part-time places for job-seekers throughout the region and they will be delivered in a flexible manner so as to accommodate students who might not otherwise be able to follow the standard mode of study.  The courses on offer range from Social Media to Tourism to Environmental Science and Engineering Technology.

The Institute secured funding for the programmes as part of a bid submitted by the Shannon Consortium, whose strong track record in responding to calls for new educational initiatives to address the re-skilling and up-skilling needs of those currently unemployed fits perfectly with this new Springboard initiative. Dr. Oliver Murphy, Acting President of the Institute stated:  â¿¿Our flexible approach towards the needs of the learner coupled with our strong links to industry have ensured that our collaborative regional submissions have been the most successful initiatives to date across the country.  This clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to programme design, delivery and uptake, which has in turn enabled us to tailor our 2011 Springboard programmes in line with local demand from the regionâ¿¿s unemployed.⿝

Speaking at the launch of Springboard in Dublin on Wednesday  the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD stated, â¿¿We have a very talented workforce, but the loss of employment in traditional sectors such as construction, manufacturing and retail has meant that many of these qualified and experienced people are now out of work.  At the same time, we know that there are skills shortages in certain areas.  By providing focused up-skilling and retraining programmes, such as those offered through Springboard, we can match those vacancies with a newly re-skilled workforce and get people back to work.⿝

To make it easier to apply for these places, potential students will apply online though Bluebrick.ie a single web portal for all Springboard related activities.  It will operate as a kind of mini-CAO for the Springboard courses, but without the pressure of the points system.

Further information on the courses available here, eligibility criteria and the application process are available from the Lifelong Learning Department, IT, Tralee, Tel: 066 7191701 and for online payments visite www.bluebrick.ie.