Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ceisteanna (258)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

258. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided to Springboard since it was created by year; the number of students accepted in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27649/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Springboard+ which incorporates the ICT skills conversion programme, is a targeted initiative which is used to provide funding for higher education courses aimed at meeting the need for in-demand skills in the economy. Springboard+ supports jobseekers to return to employment and those in employment to upskill or reskill.

Courses approved for funding under Springboard+ are in areas of identified skills needs and are selected by an independent panel with industry and educational expertise, following a competitive call for proposals.

Springboard+ courses are open to people irrespective of their employment status. Returners and those in receipt of certain allowances, including Jobseekers Benefit, can access courses free of charge. Level 6 courses are free to all participants and for employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee will be funded by the Government, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Springboard+ is funded through the National Training Fund, €34.438m has been allocated to Springboard+ 2019 which represents an increase of €4m over the 2018 allocation.

To date over €192m has been spent on Springboard+ providing free/subsidised higher education opportunities to over 52,000 people.

Springboard+ funding and number of participants 2011 - 2018

Academic Year

Number of Participants

Actual spend on Springboard+ per calendar year

2011/12

4,836

€8,732,503

2012/13

6,335

€20,938,150

2013/14

6,183

€21,699,780

2014/15

5,178

€28,688,000

2015/16

7,800

€27,438,000

2016/17

6,079

€27,818,000

2017/18

6,521

€26,752,814

2018/19

9,225

€30,169,585

2019/20

N/A

N/A

Total

52,157

€192,236,832