Press Release 21 May 2012

The chief executives of Enterprise Ireland, Forfás and IDA Ireland today welcomed the 6,000 new part-time higher education places for jobseekers, announced by Government under the Springboard Programme.  The courses will focus on the expanding enterprise areas of ICT, medical devices, the green economy, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and international financial services.  These areas have been identified by Forfás research with business as areas of current and future skills needs and job opportunity.

Frank Ryan, Chief Executive, Enterprise Ireland, commented, “Our indigenous technology start ups and SMEs need people with high level ICT, business and international sales and marketing skills.  The Springboard students who graduate over the coming years will have the skills to allow them to take up the opportunities that indigenous companies can offer and they will provide those companies with the types of skills that can drive new business and export growth.”

Martin D. Shanahan, Chief Executive, Forfás said, “Providing graduates with high level qualifications relevant to sectors of strategic economic importance is vital for Ireland’s drive for economic growth.  Forfás’ research with businesses provided Springboard with the guidance to align the courses with the sectors of greatest future skills needs and job opportunity.  It is a welcome development that these higher education places include, for the first time, opportunities for those who were formerly self-employed.  It gives them the option to up-skill or re-skill and to use these skills combined with their entrepreneurial drive and experience to create new growth start ups which our economy needs.”

Chief Executive, IDA Ireland, Barry O’Leary commented, “It is vital that job seekers focus on areas where there are current and future job opportunities.  Programmes, like Springboard and the ICT Conversion Programme have provided companies with the opportunity to engage with higher education providers to tailor programmes specifically to the needs of their businesses.  The first 3,500 graduates from Springboard 2011 will be available to businesses for employment at the end of this month and I am sure that they will be in significant demand.”

For further information:

 Aideen Fitzgerald, Forfás, 353 1 6073020 / 087 2432140

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