Vocational Training Opportunites Scheme

VTOS consists of a range of courses designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people.

What are the aims of VTOS?

1.       To provide education and training opportunities for unemployed people

2.       To prepare people to go to employment or to other learning opportunities leading to paid employment

Am I eligible to join a VTOS course?

YES if you are:

Aged 21 or over and in receipt of unemployment assistance or unemployment benefit or signing for credits for at least six months or in receipt of a one-parent family payment, disability allowance, disability benefit* or invalidity pension for at least six months or are a dependent spouse of an eligible person for at least six months or in receipt of blind person’s pension, deserted wife’s allowance/benefit, widows/widowers contributory/non-contributory pension or prisoner’s wife’s allowance for at least six months. 

Conditions may apply in the case of blind person’s pension, deserted wife’s allowance/benefit, widow/widowers contributory/non-contributory pension or prisoner’s wife’s allowance.  Periods spent on FAS training courses, Community Employment Schemes, Job Initiative, Youthreach programmes and time in prison can count towards the qualifying period.

People on Disability Benefit should, in the first instance, contact their local Social Welfare Office about exemption/entitlement to continuation of their Disability Benefit payment.

What will VTOS cost me?

VTOS courses are provided free of charge if:
You are currently getting unemployment assistance or unemployment benefit, you will instead get a training allowance at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of unemployment benefit.

If you are getting a one-parent family payment or an eligible disability payment, you will get a payment equivalent to the maximum rate of your current social welfare payment.  You will continue to receive it and all other payments from the Department of Social & Family Affairs.

Will I receive payment while attending?

You will receive a small lunch allowance and, depending on the distance between your home and the VTOS centre, you may be entitled to a travel allowance.

You may be given books and materials free of charge.  Childcare support may be available.

What does participating in a VTOS course involve?

30 Hours course attendance per week (e.g. 6 hours’ per day for 5 days) is required. This is subject to change 

What will I gain from participating in a VTOS course?


VTOS programmes offer a wide choice of subjects and learning activities.

Certification is available at a range of levels, including Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate and FETAC/NCVA Awards/Certification

What will I gain?

  • 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.

Please note all the above is subject to change