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Minister Quinn announces eligibility change to Springboard

Six-month unemployment requirement waived for final course places

Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn, today announced that the requirement to be out of work for six months or more to access a Springboard programme will be relaxed for the final phase of recruitment to Springboard 2011. 

Minister Quinn said, “Having given first opportunity to this target group I have now decided to waive the six months waiting period, in response to the huge level of demand from unemployed people for Springboard programmes. 

“This includes people who have lost their jobs within the last six months and people who have been unemployed for much longer but have managed to find temporary work, for a few weeks or months at a time. 

“These people will now be facilitated to take up the remaining places available under Springboard.” 

Some 6,000 places are being provided through Springboard as part of the Government’s Job Initiative, launched last May. 

Over 5,000 unemployed people have applied for free course places in this year’s Springboard initiative, which provides free higher education and training for jobseekers countrywide. Courses are free, part-time, and are at certificate, degree and postgraduate level.

The Minister added

“Waiving the six months waiting period will support people who are proactively trying to get back to work by helping people upskill in areas where job opportunities will be available as the economy recovers,”

Details of the remaining course places, eligibility criteria and an online application facility is available on  Information and advice on Springboard is also available from the any of the 34 higher education providers offering courses, and at local FÁS and social welfare offices.