Know Your Rights: Getting The Skills To Return To Work

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: I’ve been at home caring for my children for a number of years. I want to return to work. Can I get help to develop my skills so that I am more employable? 

Answer: Springboard provides places on courses from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. There are many different courses available that lead to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities. Most of the courses last for one year or less.

If you are a homemaker with a previous history of employment you don’t have to be getting a social welfare payment to qualify for Springboard.

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To qualify, you must have been a homemaker for a minimum of 12 months prior to your Springboard application and be ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for at least three of the five years before your entry to Springboard.

You must also provide supporting documentation to show you meet these requirements. You can do this by signing a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths, attesting to your status. Further information about this is available on

Most of the courses start in September. Details on available courses and eligibility are on

You do not have to pay course fees or charges while you are unemployed.

To apply for a Springboard course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on and apply online, following the instructions on the website.

If Springboard doesn’t meet your needs, you can find information about other ways to go back to education on

Further information is also available from the Citizens Information Service below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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