The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) provides a range of supports to allow individuals who are unemployed to return to education or training. The scheme allows successful applicants to keep their Social Welfare Allowances while attending their course in the college. All full time day courses in the College are eligible for VTOS.
What Benefits will VTOS participants obtain?
In general, VTOS participants who move from jobseeker’s payments get a VTOS training allowance at the same rate as their jobseeker’s payment.
However, if you are under 25 and move from an age-related reduced rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance you will get a maximum VTOS training allowance rate of €208 per week. Any means you have will be deducted from this rate.
Generally, your entitlement to a VTOS training allowance will not be reassessed if there is a change to your circumstances (including means).
Participants will also receive any secondary benefits they already have, such as:
- Fuel Allowance
- Rent Allowance
- Mortgage Interest Supplements
Other Supports include:
- No Course Fees
- Access to Text Books at the start of the course
Depending on your individual circumstances you may also be eligible for:
- Meal Allowance
- Travel Allowance (if you are staying more than 3 miles from the college while attending)
More detailed information about the rates of payment for VTOS participants can be found on the Department of Social Protection website.
Please note that since Budget 2010, people in receipt of VTOS or Back-to-Education Allowance will not be eligible for Student Maintenance Grants.
Do you qualify for VTOS?
To qualify for VTOS, applicants should be 21 years of age or over and have been receiving certain social welfare payments for at least 156 continuous social welfare counted days (6 months) of the previous 12 months. You may qualify for VTOS if you are unemployed and receiving any of the following benefits for at least 6 months:
- Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.
- One Parent Family Allowance.
- Blind Pension.
- Deserted Wife’s Allowance; Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension; Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Non-Contributory Pension
- Prisoner’s Spouse Allowance.
- An Adult Dependent on a person in receipt of Unemployment Assistance.
- Disability Allowance
- Illness Benefit (you must apply to the Exemption Section, Dept of Social, Community & Family Affairs, Store St. Dublin 1 for an exemption to attend the course).
Places are LIMITED on the VTOS programme and are prioritised on the basis of:
(i) Educational need
(ii) Period of time in receipt of Social Welfare payments
To apply for VTOS in the College:
- Complete the College Enrolment Procedure.
- Fill out a VTOS Application Form (PDF) with a passport-size photograph included.
- Return the form to the College VTOS Office.
- The closing date for receipt of VTOS applications forms is the first week of September for the academic year that you have signed up for. Application Forms received after this date will be treated as a late application.
Further Enquiries: John Quinlan and Jane Kirrane