Donal Óg pitches for initiative to get job seekers back in the game

Cork hurling star Donal Óg Cusack is pitching for Springboard, the Government initiative for job seekers.

The three-time All-Ireland winning goalkeeper joined Dragons’ Den star Gavin Duffy in Dublin yesterday for the launch of the Springboard road show.

Gavin, a professional communications trainer, will speak at the first road show at the Convention Centre in Dublin on Aug 14.

Donal Óg, an engineer with a medical device company in Cork, will speak at the second roadshow in the Imperial Hotel in Cork on Aug 16.

Springboard’s two road shows will provide jobseekers with opportunities to meet with course providers about acquiring new skills in Ireland’s growth industry sectors.

It has been specifically designed for people who never expected to find themselves unemployed and who have skills, including third-level degrees.

Donal Óg said he knew from personal experience as a sportsman that it was best to “push on”, even through tough times.

The 35-year-old was back doing aerobic exercises last month, almost three months after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon.

However, Donal Óg will not be back playing until January.

“You can look at job opportunities in a sporting context — you need to keep being involved and keep improving,” he said.

“It is important that you just keep pushing on trying to improve yourself. Springboard is a good opportunity for people to find out where the growth areas are.”

Donal Óg said there had been a lot of growth in the medical device industry in recent years and the outlook remained positive.

“Just because a person is coming from a trades background doesn’t mean that they can’t upskill and move into areas where there is growth,” he said.

Donal Óg said he came from a trades background. “I served my time as an electrician — I’m spending my time as an engineer in totally different territory now,” he said.

The Higher Education Authority is managing Springboard of behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Both shows are free and jobseekers can pre-register by clicking on www.springboardcourses.ie. Participants can also register on arrival.


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