Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
VTOS is particularly suited to those who have been out of school for some years and who may not have achieved any formal educational qualifications in the past. Students may wish to study a particular vocational skill in either leisure, tourism & services, science & the environment, early childhood studies or hairdressing & beauty therapy etc. Full-time courses in these areas are available to VTOS applicants through Monaghan Institute.
The VTOS Programme is full-time and will last for a minimum of one year (September – June), maximum two years. There will also be work experience and/or project work involved in this scheme.
Who is eligible?
The VTOS scheme is open to persons who are 21 years of age or over and have been in receipt of Unemployment Payments/Credits, One-Parent Family Payments, Disability Payments, Farm Assist or Dependent Spouse for at least 6 months prior to the start of the course, exceptions to the 6 month rule are those in receipt of Statutory Redundancy and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
A person in receipt of Statutory Redundancy is entitled to apply straight after being made redundant. People currently getting PUP do not have to satisfy the usual time limits of 6 months to apply for VTOS. You will have to transfer to a jobseeker’s payment (for example, Jobseeker’s Allowance) before you can get VTOS, and your VTOS payment rate will be based on your qualifying payment.
The only charge is a €50 Administration Fee and there are no additional fees charged for the course. Participants who are in receipt of unemployment payment prior to going on VTOS will be paid a training allowance at the same rate. The allowance will be paid for the duration of the course – including all holiday periods.
As it will not be means-tested, VTOS participants may also take up part-time work without affecting their payments. Where participants have been in receipt of other Social Welfare Benefits, entitlements to these will continue while on VTOS. A small maintenance allowance is paid and participants who live more than 3 miles from the course centre are entitled to a travel allowance. Books and examination fees are covered by the scheme but uniforms and kits will have to be purchased by the Students who require them. Note: VTOS students participating on PLC courses may not be eligible to apply for a maintenance grant.
How do I apply?
For more information, please contact Denise McKenna, VTOS Admin Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org