One point three million euro is being made available to WIT to facilitate courses under the Government’s Springboard programme.
The third-level full and part-time courses are designed to plug specific skills gaps in the region.
278 places will be available in the Autumn on the courses, which are free to the unemployed, those who were previously self-employed and people returning to work, including homemakers.
This year there is an increase of almost 25% of places nationally on the Springboard programme on the previous year.
Waterford Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan said “It is crucial that we provide the unemployed with opportunities to best prepare themselves for today’s rapidly changing labour market, but it is equally important to ensure that those in employment are given the opportunity to upskill or cross skill and progress in their careers.
“One element of Springboard+ which I particularly welcome is the expansion of the scheme to include free courses to people who have a previous history of employment but have been out of the workplace for more than one year due to childcare or other caring obligations. There will also be a good mix of delivery modes of courses to ensure that all participants, whether unemployed, in employment or homemakers, will be able to avail of a suitable course. This is crucial, as many who take up these courses will be juggling their studies with family and work commitments.
“The speed of development of new technologies will inevitably affect the future workplace and there will be no escaping these changes. What is new and innovative today will be outdated in no time. It will be vital for employees to continue to upskill and reskill to keep up to date with the latest technologies. Springboard+ provides excellent opportunities to the unemployed and those in employment to upskill or reskill to keep pace with the advances in technology.”
Education Minister Richard Bruton says they’re aimed at the unemployed, and those returning to work or hoping to upskill for a change in career.
Nationally an extra 8,000 places are being made available on 245 courses across the country, which is a 25 percent increase on last year.
The Minister says he’s committed to making Ireland’s training service the best in Europe by 2026.