Steps being taken locally to get unemployed people back to work. Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in association with the Department of Education and Skills is pleased to offer ten new courses for individuals who have been unemployed for at least six months. In a bid to help create new opportunities for people, DkIT is offering these courses as part of the Springboard initiative, which was officially launched recently by the Minister for Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn.
Springboard is targeted at those who were previously working but lost their jobs for economic reasons including those who were made redundant. It aims to upskill unemployed people in order to allow them to change career paths and to give them a real chance of re-entering the workforce.
“With the unemployment figure in Ireland currently at 440,000, we must do something to create new opportunities for the unemployed and try to retain our highly skilled and qualified people”, said Denis Cummins, President, DkIT. “Options are scarce and we’ve seen the rise in emigration over the past few years. Springboard is a welcomed initiative by the new Government and we at DkIT are very pleased to offer ten courses in new growth industries that we are confident will help to create jobs.”
DkIT is offering Springboard courses in bio-energy, wind energy, solar energy, technology entrepreneurship, home energy consultancy, sustainable plumbing and heating installation, agri-waste management, food supply chain management, bioprocess engineering and in science and computing.
Those who participate in the Springboard courses will be able to retain their social welfare benefits and if they find a job, they will still be permitted and encouraged to finish their course.
One such person who has benefited from a similar programme at DkIT is Kevin McMahon from Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Kevin, an electronics-engineering graduate from Queen’s University in Belfast had worked for a number of years in the electronic industry until he was made redundant. Kevin enrolled in an earlier Springboard-like course at DkIT in Bioprocess Engineering, which helped him learn new engineering skills. Through this course he is now employed in Biouetikon, a bioprocess development plant located in Dublin City University.
“After being made redundant and then working in the construction industry, once the recession hit there were very few options and supports available to me,” said Kevin McMahon, former student at DkIT. “When I came across the Bioprocess Engineering course at DkIT I was thrilled to see that I could update my skills to meet modern engineering requirements.
The course was like a conversion one and a number of my classmates are now also employed in great jobs with great companies. People don’t have to leave the country and we can get through this recession. We just have to be innovative and DkIT is somewhere that provides very grounded education with really good practical experience. Going back to college was one of the best things I ever did and I’ve met friends for life and I have a new future right now in front of me here at home.”
For further information on the ten Springboard courses available at DkIT, and to apply, please visit www.dkit.ie/springboard