How successful has Springboard+ been in helping people reach their employment goals?
We take a look at how successful the scheme has been since its inception in 2011
Springboard+ may have been introduced by the Government a mere five years ago but it has already accomplished a lot. To date, over 21,000 people have participated on 812 courses across 42 colleges.
That said, the Government's incentive to introduce the scheme was to get the people of Ireland back to work. Has it achieved this goal? We look at the facts
Since the recession there has been much debate as to whether college and university graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to enter the labour market. An evaluation conducted by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) shows that Springboard+ participants - who undertake courses that aim to fill skill gaps or shortages in the economy - have an improved success rate.
Thirty per cent of Springboard+ 2011-2012 graduates were reported to be in employment or self-employment within just six weeks of finishing their course. This rose to 40 per cent last year. And 60 per cent reported being employed or self-employed two years after completing their course.
However, it is worth noting that on some courses, 90 per cent of graduates found employment after completing the course.
What kinds oF roles are people in?
The evaluation also reports that 62 per cent are in managerial or professional roles and 95 per cent of respondents' jobs are in Ireland. The survey also discovered that 24 per cent of survey respondents in full-time jobs are earning over €37,200 per annum.
Ask any Springboard+ participant what was the most beneficial part of the course and you are likely to hear the response: work placement.
This is not surprising considering 12 per cent of graduates who were placed on work placement as part of their Springboard+ course found employment in the company they completed their work placement in in 2012. This rose to 14 per cent in 2013 and to 18 per cent in 2014.
The good news, this year, is that the HEA are placing more emphasis on the work placement component of Springboard+. Excluding courses focused on entrepreneurship, over 90 per cent of Springboard+ 2015-16 courses include a placement.
In the first year of Springboard+ in 2011-2012, 68 per cent of participants already had a higher education qualification of Level 6 or above. By 2013-2014 this had increased to 87 per cent of participants.
In a survey of Springboard+ 2013-14 graduates, 98 per cent of respondents said that they would recommend Springboard+ to others.