For Further Information

 Contact :

Thérèse Ruane (Coordinator),
Further Education Centre, Cashel, Bunacurry, Achill, Co. Mayo.
Telephone Mobile: 086 7036033

Frequently asked questions about VTOS
Q. What is the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme?
A. The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme is a special range of courses designed to meet the education needs of unemployed people.

Q. What is the aim of the scheme?
A. The aims of the scheme are:

  • to give unemployed people education and training opportunities which will develop their employability.
  • to prepare people to go to paid employment or to further opportunities leading to paid employment.

Q. Can I join the Scheme?
A. You can apply to join if you are:

  • aged 21 or over
  • getting unemployment payments or signing for credits for at least six months.
  • A limited number of places is available to recipients of the Lone Parents or Disability Allowances, and to dependent spouses of all categories of people eligible to join VTOS.



Q. What will it cost me?
A. Courses are provided free of charge

  • If you are currently getting an unemployment payment, you will instead get a training allowance equivalent to the maximum standard rate of Unemployment Benefit. If you are getting One-Parent Family Payment or Disability Allowances you will get a payment equivalent to the maximum rate of your current social welfare payment. You will continue to receive payment in the normal way from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.
  • You will get travel ( for distances over 3 miles ) and meal allowances
  • You will be given books and materials free of charge.
  • Childcare support is also available.

Q. What does the programme involve?

  • 30 hours’ course attendance per week, (e.g. 6 hours a day for 5 days). Courses last up to two years
  • Courses include a wide range of subjects and activities
  • Certification is available at a range of levels, including the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate, and the Foundation, QQI Levels 3 to 6
  • A limited number of part time options is being piloted in 1999

Q. What opportunities will VTOS offer me?

  • A chance to continue your education and training
  • A chance to develop new skills
  • A chance to gain certification at a range of levels
  • A chance to find good employment