A CASE STUDY IN BEST PRACTICE EU CO-FUNDED UP-SKILLING AND RE-SKILLING THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
Ireland’s Springboard+ Instrument is a unique National and European co-funded initiative led by the Irish Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Irish Government, specifically the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. It has invested over €300M over the past decade to successfully up/re-skill over 75,000 citizens across all regions of Ireland. As Springboard’s largest provider of programmes over this period, Innopharma Education have developed unique mechanisms for the development, management, co-ordination and implementation of such national initiatives across multiple regions of Ireland. We have enabled and assisted learners to commence a career or progress their career within the high-tech sectors of (Bio)Pharma, Agri/Food Technology, ICT and Medical Devices. The purpose of this Case Study is to outline our best practice model and share our unique approach so that it may be considered as an exemplar to up/re-skill EU citizens at scale within other Member States. Innopharma programmes are keenly aligned with the EU’s skills agenda, as well as the EU’s green deal and digital transition policies. Innopharma brings the knowledge and know-how to translate policy objectives into deliverables, including delivering beneficial impacts at a regional level.
Since 2010, Innopharma Education has collaborated with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to develop, manage, co-ordinate and implement up/re-skilling programmes for the (Bio)Pharma, Agri/Food Technology, ICT and Medical Devices sectors. It was the first provider of industry-led up-skilling courses for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sectors in Ireland through an ESF-funded. Labour Market Activation Fund in 2010. Using a public-private partnership model, it successfully transitioned unemployed engineers, scientists and architects from the recession-impacted construction sector into sustainable employment sectors. This model has now been expanded to include more than 18 programmes, leading to awards across the European Qualifications Framework at Levels 6 to 9 and delivered to learners and industry sectors regionally across Ireland.
Since it's inception in 2010, the Springboard+ concept has evolved and expanded from solely supporting those seeking employment to supporting those in employment seeking to up-skill.
Thousands of Innopharma learners are found in the 85+ pharma companies operating in the sector.
These companies include 9 of the top 10 global leaders with the sector generating over $100 billion worth of products annually.
Our unique approach has proven to be sustainable and scalable in response to current and emerging industry and individual skills needs.
Ireland's Higher Education Authority
The HEA leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system to create a coherent system of diverse institutions with distinct missions, which is responsive to the social, cultural and economic development of Ireland and its people supporting the achievement of national objectives.
The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. All courses approved for funding are selected by an Independent panel from industry and education which have a proven track record of developing learners lifelong learning skills and sustaining their employment or creating new opportunities. A recent survey by the HEA found that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unimaginable impact on our attitude to work and our careers in general, forcing people to reconsider the path they are on and think about re/up-skilling. Through SPirngboard_ courses, they try to remove the challenge people have of finding the confidence to reskill with the blended learning options and free or subsidized courses.
Throughout our 11-year collaboration with Innopharma, we have also always tried to keep a focus on new and emerging technologies to ensure there is a talented workforce available with the right skills, required by employers.
CONCLUSION AND THE WAY FORWARD
Ireland’s Springboard+ Instrument is a unique National and European Co-Funded initiative managed by the Irish Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Irish Government. It has invested over €300M over the past decade to successfully up/re-skill over 75,000 citizens across all regions of Ireland. This best-in-class case study, forged through participation in agile public-private partnerships is illustrative of how the Irish government’s sustained investment in human capital through the Higher Education Authority has leveraged the capabilities of the public and private Higher Education sectors to serve the public good.