What is VTOS?
VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) offers free, second chance education and training for eligible adults. It offers full -time courses which help learners to prepare for employment or Further/Higher Education. Learners can gain certification at QQI Levels 3, 4, 5 or Leaving Certificate, and retain their social welfare entitlements while on the course. LMETB’s VTOS centres are located in Dundalk, Drogheda and Navan.
Who is eligible for VTOS?
Applicants may qualify for VTOS if they are aged over 21 years and if they, or their dependent spouse/civil partner/cohabitant, have been getting one of the following social welfare payments for at least 6 months:
- Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or signing for credits
- One-Parent Family Payment, Disability Allowance, Illness Benefit* or Invalidity Pension
- Blind Pension, Deserted Wife’s Allowance/Benefit, Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension, Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Non-Contributory Pension or Prisoner’s Wife’s Allowance for at least 6 months (conditions may apply in the case of these payments)
A person who received statutory redundancy but who has not been in receipt of a qualifying payment for the required period is also eligible. Periods spent on FET training courses, Community Employment Schemes, Job Initiative, Youthreach programmes and time in prison can count towards the qualifying period.
* If you are claiming Illness Benefit, you should contact your local social welfare office about exemption/entitlement to continuation of your Illness Benefit payment.
What supports are available for VTOS learners?
- Retain all Social Welfare benefits
- Free Course materials and exam fees
- Travel allowance and childcare supports may be available
- Increased payment for learners in 21-25 age group
- Work up to 19 hours weekly outside of class time without affecting benefits
- Eligible to apply for Student Leap Card- the National Student Travel and Discount Card
- Access to Adult Education Information and Guidance Service
- Supports available in reading, writing, Maths and Study skills
- Tutors with experience in teaching adults
- Welcoming and supportive learning environment