Am I Eligible for Springboard Courses?


To be eligible for a place on a Springboard course a person must be:

Unemployed* with a previous history of employment AND satisfy one of the following three criteria:

Be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection :

• Jobseekers Allowance

• Jobseekers Benefit

• One Parent Family Payment

• Disability Allowance

• Qualified Adults of Working Age

• Carers Allowance

• Farm Assist/Fish Assist

• Widow(er)s Contributory or Non-contributory Pension

• Blind Pension

• Deserted Wives Allowance

There is no requirement to be in receipt of a payment for a particular period of time prior to the commencement of the course. Participants in receipt of an eligible payment at the time the Springboard course commences are eligible to apply for a place on that course. However, providers will be required to give priority to applications from people who are long term unemployed.


Be signing for social insurance contribution credits


Be previously self-employed


Be actively seeking employment

People participating in the Community Employment Scheme; the Rural Social Scheme; Tús; JobBridge or in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or the Short Term Enterprise Allowance may apply for Springboard and, with the approval of a Department of Social Protection Facilitator, take up a Springboard course.

To participate in a NFQ Level 9 (Post Graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing a full time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the NFQ.

*For the purposes of determining eligibility for Springboard the term unemployed also includes people who are on short term working and in receipt of a Jobseekers payment from the Department of Social Protection.

Further guidance on Springboard and Department of Social Protection income support

Participation on a Springboard course will not confer any entitlement to receive an income support payment from the Department of Social Protection. Participants who are in receipt of a Department of Social Protection income support payment may be able to retain such payments.

Through the Part-time Education Option (PTEO), jobseekers in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance who wish to pursue a part-time day or evening course of education may retain their payment subject to continuing to meet the eligibility conditions, including being available for and genuinely seeking work. If a payment is due to cease prior to the end of a course, payment cannot be extended past the due cessation date.

The PTEO will continue to apply when a participant is undertaking a work placement of less than 6 months duration that is a specific component of a Springboard course.

Prior to commencing a Springboard course participants in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance should contact their local social welfare office to make an application to retain their payment under the PTEO. The relevant Springboard PTEO form can be downloaded from here. The PTEO scheme does not involve any special payment. Signing-on arrangements continue to apply for PTEO claimants. Attendance on part-time courses is allowed on the clear understanding that availability for and genuinely seeking work opportunities must take precedence over course attendance, including attendance at any work placement component of a course, should a conflict arise.

Participants in receipt of other forms of income support payment from the Department of Social Protection must contact the appropriate scheme area in that Department to confirm if they may retain such payments while on the course. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on for more information.

Participants who meet the criteria for the JobBridge programme will be eligible for support under JobBridge. Further information on the JobBridge eligibility criteria is available at