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What is VTOS?
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) consists of a range of courses designed to meet the educational and training needs of unemployed people allowing them to gain nationally recognised qualifications and avail of further career and employment support
How can people join the scheme?
|The scheme is open to people who are:|
|Aged 21 or over|
|In receipt of job seekers allowance or job seekers benefit or signing for credits for at least 6 months or In receipt of one-parent family payment, disability allowance, disability benefit* or invalidity pension for at least six months or are a dependent spouse for at least six months (Periods spent on FAS training courses, Community Employment schemes, Job Initiative and Youthreach/Senior Traveller Training Centre programmes or time in prison, can count towards this six month qualifying period but a person must be getting one of the relevant social welfare payments immediately before the course commencement date)|
The following categories are also eligible to apply for VTOS provided they are at least 21 years of age and can satisfy the Department of Social & Family Affairs that they have not been engaged in work for at least six months and are in receipt of one of the following payments. (Please note that those in receipt of a statutory redundancy payment are entitled to join VTOS without the six month waiting period).
|Statutory redundancy (can attend without waiting the 6 months)|
|Blind persons pension|
|Deserted wives allowance|
|Deserted wives benefit|
|Widow/widower non-contributory pension|
|Widowers contributory pension|
|Prisoners wives allowance|
|People receiving disability benefit should first contact their Social Welfare Officer about exemption/entitlement to the continuation of their disability benefit payment)|
|What will VTOS cost me?|
|Courses are provided free of charge|
|If you are currently getting job seekers allowance or job seekers benefit, you will instead get a training allowance at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of unemployment benefit|
|If you are getting a one-parent family payment or eligible disability payment, you will get paid your current social welfare payment directly|
|You will receive a small lunch allowance and may be entitled to a travel allowance depending on the distance between your home and VTOS centre|
|You will be given books and materials free of charge|
|You may qualify for a subsidised childcare place for your child(ren) through the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) scheme|
Participants retain their entitlement to any secondary benefits e.g. fuel allowance and rent allowance. You can also work part-time during your time off at evenings and weekends without loss of benefit.
What does VTOS involve?
The course is full time and runs over five days – (Monday to Friday). Courses can last up to two years.
Courses include a wide range of subjects including: Art, Craft and Design, ECDL and Computer Skills, Heritage Studies, Languages, Accountancy, Media Studies, Sport & Recreation, and Basic Education – literacy and numeracy.
Certification is available through the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI): at levels 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5 and 6.
When does VTOS start?
VTOS programmes normally start in September and conclude in June of the following year and attendance is usually over a two year period.
|What will I get at the end of VTOS?|
|A chance to continue your education and training|
|A chance to develop new skills|
|A chance to gain certification at a range of levels|
|A chance to find employment|
Frequently asked questions about VTOS
What opportunities will VTOS offer me?
A chance to:
- continue your education and training
- A chance to develop new skills
- A chance to gain certification at a range of levels
- A chance to find good employment
What will it cost me?
Courses are provided free of charge:
- If you are currently getting an unemployment payment, you will instead get a training allowance equivalent to your rate of Unemployment payment. If you are getting One-Parent Family Payment or Disability Allowances you will get a payment equivalent to the rate of your current social welfare payment. You will continue to receive payment in the normal way from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.
- You will get travel ( for distances over 3 miles ) and meal allowances
- You will be given books and materials free of charge.
- You may qualify for a subsidised childcare place for your child(ren) through the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) scheme.
- Q. What does the programme involve? A. Full time attendance, (e.g. up to 6 hours a day for 5 days). Courses last up to two years:
- Courses include a wide range of subjects and activities
- Certification is available at a range of levels, between FETAC/QQI from level 3 to 6
Can I join the Scheme?
You can apply to join if you are:
- aged 21 or over
- getting unemployment payments or signing for credits for at least six months (statutory redundancy category can attend without waiting the six month waiting period)
- A limited number of places is available to recipients of the Lone Parents or Disability Allowances, and to dependent spouses of all categories of people eligible to join VTOS.
What is the aim of the scheme?
The aims of the scheme are:
- to give unemployed people education and training opportunities which will develop their employability.
- to prepare people to go to paid employment or to further opportunities leading to paid employment.
What is the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme?
The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme is a special range of courses designed to meet the education needs of unemployed people.
The eligibility criteria are the same as VTOS. In addition applicants must have applied for or secured a place on a PLC course or on a leaving certificate programme prior to applying for the Dispersed Mode.
|The scheme is for one year with an option of a second year if required.|
|Participants are expected to attend a full-time course.|
|There is an allowance of €50 towards books and materials.|
|Meals and travels allowances are provided.|
|Childcare support maybe available.|
|Participants are allowed to work while on VTOS, providing it does not interfere with their course.|