If you missed out on educational opportunities when you
were younger or if you need to update your skills to compete
more successfully for a job, the Department of Social and
Family Affairs may be able to help.
We run a range of second chance education programmes to
help unemployed people, lone parents and people with
disabilities improve their skills and qualifications.
This booklet outlines a number of ways that you can return
to full-time or part-time education while continuing to get
income support. The programmes range from basic
foundation courses through to third level postgraduate
If you wish to take a full-time second or third level course,
you may qualify for a Back to Education Allowance
(BTEA). Or, you may continue to get your current social
welfare payment if you wish to participate in other
education, training or development courses.
The Back to Education Programme covers the following
• Second level education courses
• Third level education courses
• Education, training and development courses
• Part-time education courses.
Also, the Department of Education and Science runs the
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
which is particularly suitable if you have been out of school
for some time.
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