Evidence of effectiveness
The instrument has a high impact, as it links with other industry-led programmes. Offering 768 places countrywide per year. The benefits have exceeded expectations, which has resulted in the instrument (under Springboard+) being continued. When the initiative was first introduced in 2011, unemployment was at 15%. Unemployment has now dropped to 6.8% and over 200,000 more people are at work than in 2012. High level of withdrawal from programmes (for various reasons such as finding employment, experiencing financial difficulty, personal, etc) has proven costly, based on the cost of funding for each trainee, as well as the loss of opportunity for the individual. Measures to address and improve this have been outlined in the evaluation report, such as extra guidance for students and the consideration of additional financial support.
Engagement of stakeholders
The HEA carries out evaluations to promote engagement and improvement, whilst also measuring the instruments progress. These evaluations include: detailed online reporting by ICT skills and Springboard course providers on academic and employment-related outcomes for participants; surveys of graduates and continuing students; focus-group meetings and interviews with employers and course providers; and data scans of the Live Register status of graduates and of continuing students by the Department of Social Protection.