Since launching as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative in 2011, Springboard+ courses have provided more than 75,000 people with free or heavily subsidised upskilling and reskilling opportunities in areas where there is an identified skills need.  

With a particular emphasis on upskilling people who are unemployed or in receipt of a social welfare payment, the programme is specially designed to support people back into employment and improve the skills of those in employment. Since its inception, Springboard+ has helped thousands of people gain employment, return to work or reskill and upskill in their current roles. As such, the initiative plays a key role in further building the supply of skilled graduates to meet current and future skill needs of the Irish economy, attracting ongoing foreign direct investment, and further developing our small and medium enterprise sector. 

While the initiative began as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative in 2011 to target the unemployed, it has evolved over the years to help enhance the skill levels of those already in employment and to reskill those whose current occupation may be at risk from technological and other developments. Enhancing collaboration between enterprise and higher education to design and deliver relevant higher education courses that support job creation and expansion has also become a key aspect of the Springboard+ initiative. 

More recently, an importance has been placed on recognising trends emerging in industries due to the impact of Covid-19 and how those displaced by its impact can be supported, as well as addressing the skills needs arising from the implications of Brexit. 

“Springboard+ responds quickly to emerging technologies and skills such as cybersecurity, blockchain and AI. These are, in the words of Springboard+, skills that work,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland.

Now in its 10th year, Springboard+ continues to provide valuable opportunities for people right across the country to either develop their career or to relaunch it entirely. This academic year alone, more than 11,000 places across 300 courses are available at 36 different institutions, including institutes of technology, universities and private colleges. As with other years, these courses cover a wide range of in-demand and emerging areas such as data analytics, data science, automation, cloud computing, software development, DevOps, UX design, fintech, innovation, environmental sustainability and more. 

With flexibility being a key component of the Springboard+ initiative, most courses are one-year, part-time and many are offered either in a blended format or delivered entirely online, leading to awards from level 6 (Certificate) to level 9 (Master’s) on the National Qualifications Framework. 

For more information on Springboard+, visit