Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ceisteanna (55)

Tom Fleming

Ceist:

58 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a progress report on the national spring board scheme; and the number of participants in each county. [23297/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Skills)

Springboard is a specific initiative to provide part time higher education places targeted at unemployed people who have lost jobs in sectors where employment levels will not return and who will need new qualifications and skills to re-enter employment in areas where sustainable opportunities may arise as the economy recovers.

A first-stage process evaluation of Springboard was published by the Higher Education Authority in February and is available on the HEA's website: www.hea.ie. It shows that the programme has been very successful to date in reaching its target cohorts. As at the end of December 2011, 77% of Springboard participants were aged between 25 and 49, 60% had been out of work for more than 1 year and 20%, the largest single group, were previously employed in the construction sector. The second stage of Springboard evaluation will take place in July 2012. Further monitoring of outcomes will take place at regular intervals thereafter.

Information is not available on the number of Springboard participants in each county; however, information on those currently enrolled on a Springboard programme by region is contained in the following table:

Region NUTS III

Total

Border

360

Dublin

3,244

Mid West

165

Midlands

5

South East

119

South West

520

West

155

Grand Total

4,568