The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)

VTOS is an educational opportunities scheme for unemployed people.

The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme is operated through the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and is designed to meet the educational and training needs of unemployed people, focusing primarily on those who are early school leavers.

The scheme gives participants the opportunity to develop and improve their employability, through the range of training courses delivered to participants. This will prepare people to go into paid employment or other further opportunities which will lead to employment. This will give participant an opportunity to improve and develop their skills and level of education and prepare them for employment and further education and training.

How can I join the Scheme?

You can apply to join the scheme if:

  • You are 21 years of age or over.
  • If you are in receipt of an unemployment payment or signing for credits for at least 6 months.
  • A limited number of places are available to persons in receipt of One Parent Family payment, Disability Allowance, Disability Benefit or invalidity pension for at least 6 months, or if you are a dependent spouse of an eligible person for at least 6 months, Deserted Wife’s Benefit/ Allowance, Illness Benefit, Blind Pension, Invalidity Pension, Widow’s/ Widower’s Contributory/ Non Contributory pension, Prisoners Wife’s Allowance for at least 6 Months.
  • Periods Spent on VTOS, Fás Training Courses, Community Employment Schemes, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach Programmes and time in prison can count towards the qualifying period.

The following may also be eligible for VTOS:

  • Carers Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Statutory Redundancy

What will it cost me?

All courses are provided free of charge.

Travel (for distances over 3 miles) and meal allowances are provided.

If you are in receipt of an employment payment, you will instead get a training allowance equivalent to the maximum rate of your current social welfare programme. You will continue to receive payment in the normal way from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.

You will be provided with books and materials free of charge.

Childcare support is also available for participants.

What does the Programme involve?

It Involves:

  • 30 Hours course attendance per week. (e.g 6 hours per day for 5 days). Courses last up to 2 years.
  • Courses include a wide variety of levels which include Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate and the foundation, Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates of the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC)

What will VTOS provide me with?

It will provide me with:

  • A chance to develop new skills.
  • A chance to gain certification at a range of levels.
  • An opportunity to find good employment opportunities.

For further information please contact Maureen Murnane, VTOS Co-Ordinator for County Cork on 028-40290 or Joe Brennan, VTOS Co-Ordinator for South Kerry on 066-9472414.