FINE Gael Cork South West Deputy Noel Harrington has welcomed the announcement of 6,000 new college places which are being made available to unemployed people who want to upskill, as part of the Springboard initiative.
Deputy Harrington went on to say that not only will these new places enable jobseekers to retrain and gain the relevant skills needed to get a job, they will also ensure that the right skills are being taught to meet the needs of industry.
“Springboard, which was set up as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative a year ago, has proved to be an enormous success. So far 5,000 people have taken up free, part time higher education courses, with 3,500 of those due to graduate this month.
“The announcement of a further 6,000 college places will come as great news to those who are looking to retrain and upskill for the jobs that are currently available. As these places are targeted to meet the current and future skills requirements of industry, they will also be warmly welcomed by business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“The situation for many jobseekers these days is that the sector in which they once worked, such as the construction industry, has suffered serious collapse, leaving them well qualified with plenty of experience but for the wrong job. It is essential that we now ensure that the skills needed for the new jobs that are coming on stream are acquired. The focus for the future has to be on sectors such as Information and Communication Technology, the biopharma-pharmachem sector and the medical devices sector.
“I also welcome the changes that have been introduced for this round of the programme with the eligibility criteria being opened up. Springboard courses are now available to those who were previously self-employed and those in receipt of Disability Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance.
“I am encouraging all jobseekers in Cork South West to log onto www.springboardcourses.ie and to examine what is on offer.
“The Government is intent on finding the best way of getting people back to work. By identifying where the gaps are in business and training the unemployed to fill those gaps, we can get people back into the jobs market while ensuring that the needs of industry are also met.”