Back to Education Initiative

Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
The BTEI Initiative is delivered by Cork Education and Training Board, funded by SOLAS. It provides part-time Further Education programmes for young people and adults in North Cork. The aim is to give people an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are BTEI programmes available?
Flexibility is the key word. Programmes can be offered on a part-time basis, in the mornings or afternoons.

What courses are being offered?
BTEI North Cork is currently offering courses at Level 4 in Horticulture, General Learning, Barbering and Office Skills. Within the General Learning course, learners can choose options such as Upholstery, Design, Textiles, Childcare, Healthcare, Customer Service and Retail Sales Techniques.

Who can take part in BTEI programmes?
Anyone who has finished with full-time education can take part in a course being offered, but priority will be given to those with less than upper second level education and those on a Social Welfare payment.

What will a BTEI course cost?
Those in receipt of unemployment payments or means-tested Social Welfare benefits, and holders of Medical Cards, and their dependants, are entitled to free BTEI courses. Other unwaged people with less than upper second level education are also entitled to a free courses. The remainder will be charged fees.

For people in receipt of Social Welfare payments, continued entitlement to benefit is subject to satisfying the Department of Social Protection as to their continued eligibility for the schemes. It is best to discuss individual circumstances with the Social Welfare office.

Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?
All BTEI courses offer national certification, usually QQI.

What will I get from taking part in a BTEI programme?
• Participation in part-time programme can provide opportunities to:
• Continue your learning
• Obtain national certification
• Develop new skills
• Pursue new employment options

WHAT is QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland, formerly FETAC) Level 4?
If you study for a qualification at QQI Level 4, this is equivalent to a pass Leaving Certificate standard. It has a more practical approach that many adults enjoy, with a wide range of subjects including Teamworking, Communications, Customer Service, Internet Skills, Horticulture and Everyday Maths. QQI Certification is recognised nationally by employers & other education and training organisations. You can also use your QQI Level 4 Certificate to progress to employment or Further Education at QQI Level 5.

If you complete 4 compulsory subjects (or “components”) & 4 other chosen components you can earn enough credits to receive a related QQI Level 4 Award e.g. General Learning, Horticulture, or Office Skills. All Level 4 awards require 90 credits.

You will receive a component certificate for every component you complete, it is very flexible and you can choose how many components you would like to complete depending on your availability.

WHY is this course a good step for me?
If you have completed your Junior Certificate (or equivalent); but left school before completing the full Leaving Certificate this course will give you a chance to improve your Communications, Personal skills, Maths, Computer and many other skills in an Adult Education Centre. Those without Junior or Inter Cert are also eligible, with extra support offered if required.

WHEN can I start?
Classes will start at various times during the year, usually September and also around January time. Classes usually last on average 1.5 – 3 hours per week with small class sizes of usually 7-10, with a maximum of 15.

HOW do I apply?
Call Brendan Glynn (BTEI Co-ordinator) on 022 55452, or email: Courses are free to eligible participants – priority is given to adults who left school early, medical card holders and social welfare recipients are also eligible. All social welfare payments are retained while doing a BTEI course.

WHERE are the courses being held?
In Cork ETB Further Education and Training Centres in Charleville, Fermoy, Mallow and Mitchelstown.