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Upskill and be work-ready with Springboard+ courses

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar upskilling initiatives for 2021, which are supported by the Department of Further Education & Higher Education, offer free and subsidised courses at certificate, degree and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy.

They are designed to help people gain the skills necessary to either obtain employment in industry areas where there is an increasing need or to upskill in a current job. The majority of courses are part-time for a maximum of 12 months and are open to all applicants; Employed, Unemployed, and Returners who meet the eligibility criteria at the time of course commencement.

Under the Springboard+ there are over 10,000 places on 321 courses being offered nationwide at certificate, degree and postgraduate levels spanning several different career sectors. They include courses in ICT, Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Innovation, Digital Skills, Finance, Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals, Creative Media, Health & Safety, Supply Chain Management, Engineering, Construction, Lean Systems and much more.

As part of the HCI Pillar 1 initiative, graduates can apply for full-time graduate conversion courses in areas of skills shortages and emerging technologies such as ICT, High End Manufacturing, Data Analytics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and others.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the Springboard+ and HCI Pillar courses, applicants need to be living full-time in the Republic of Ireland, have a valid PPS number, meet the nationality/visa requirement, have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK or Switzerland for at least three out of the last five years. As places are limited, applicants who are on a qualifying Social Welfare payment will always take priority over others.

FEES

Course fees for Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 are either free or 90% subsidised depending on eligibility. For those who are employed and applying for NFQ Level 6 course, fees are fully funded. For those who are employed and applying for a course at NFQ Levels 7, 8 or 9, fees are 90% subsidised and the 10% can be paid by the participant or employer. For anyone who is returning to the workforce after a period of unemployment or from a career break to care for loved ones, fees are fully funded for all NFQ levels.

DEADLINES

Applications are now open with some deadlines in early August and start dates in early September. Some courses will start in January so application deadlines will be later. For further details on all courses including entry requirements and on how to apply, log on the www.springboard.ie, and for support and guidance phone 1800 303 523 where you will get professional advice from experienced guidance counsellors. There is huge interest in these excellent opportunities to upskill and retrain and demand outstrips supply so to give yourself the best chance of securing a place, apply now!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at www.mycareerplan.ie. She can be contacted on info@mycareerplan.ie or via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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STEM Scholarship for outstanding female student

By Michelle Crean A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship. Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science […]

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship.

Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics in University College Cork, was recognised as an outstanding female student in STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design at a ceremony held at Janssen Sciences site in Ringaskiddy.

Annie, from Muckross, will receive a student award, a bursary of €1,500, industry mentoring and leadership training, along with the opportunity to attend career workshops, visit Johnson & Johnson sites and participate in WiSTEM2D events designed to support students with pursuing future STEM careers.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The Undergraduate programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, University of Galway in 2021, and Munster Technological University in 2022, supporting more than 400 female students over the last six years.

“It’s an honour to be a recipient of this award,” Annie, who is a former St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School student, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s great to see the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design, increase over the years.”

She added that the goal of the award is “to inspire women to pursue their career path in their respective STEM2D field of work”.  
 

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