‘Springboard’ plan to train jobless adults

JOBLESS adults who want to study part time will find it easier to get on to work-related courses in future while keeping their jobseekers’ allowances.

Information and application forms will be available online through a new system, set up as part of the Government’s €20m ‘Springboard’ initiative.

The main aim of Springboard is to create flexible higher education and training opportunities in areas where jobs will arise as the economy picks up.

Courses will be selected shortly and the official launch will take place in May.

The courses will be very varied in content and cater for different groups of people, including those who had worked in construction or manufacturing, Leaving Cert students or graduates who require upskilling.

The programme is being run by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), which has chosen the Bluebrick.ie website to provide information.

Spokesman Dr Richard Thorn said Bluebrick has registered more than 40,000 unique visitors since its launch.

Meanwhile, new HEA figures show there has been a dramatic increase in the number of full-time male mature students in third level.

More than 3,000 men aged over 23 started full-time undergraduate courses in 2009/10, almost double the number of two years previously.

– John Walshe Education Editor

Irish Independent – February 10 2011

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