Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme
VTOS consists of a range of courses designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people. It offers full time education and training to people over 21 years of age in receipt of a Social Welfare payment e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, One-Parent-Family Payment or Disability Allowance. There are no costs involved and participants retain all their social welfare benefits while on VTOS.
What are the aims of the scheme?
- To provide education and training opportunities to the unemployed.
- To prepare participants to go into paid employment or onto further education opportunities eventually leading to paid employment
What courses are available?
County Sligo VEC provides a choice of two full time VTOS courses:
- The Leaving Certificate course offers you the opportunity to study a number of subjects.
- The Information Technology course provides the knowledge and expertise necessary to work with computers the workplace.
Can I join the scheme?
Yes, if you are 21 years of age and:
- in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Benefit or signing for credits for at least six months, or
- In receipt of a One-Parent Family Payment, Disability Allowance, Illness benefit, Invalidity Pension, farm Assist, for at least six months, or are a Dependant Spouse for at least six months.
What will VTOS cost me?
There are no costs involved. Tuition costs and examination fees are all paid for you. You will be given your text books free of charge.
If you are currently getting Jobseekers Allowance or Benefit, you will instead get a training allowance at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseekers benefit.
If you are getting a One-Parent Family Payment or Disability Payment, you will get a payment equivalent to the maximum rate of your current social welfare payment. You will continue to receive this payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
Am I allowed to work part-time?
Yes. As a VTOS participant you can work part-time during your time off at evenings and weekends without loss of benefit.
What are the hours of attendance?
VTOS is full-time. All classes take place Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 4:00am.
When does VTOS start?
The programme commences each year in early September and runs until the end of June.