VTOS – Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme
The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) provides a range of courses to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people.
This scheme allows successful applicants to keep their Social Welfare Allowances while attending their course in the college.
All full time day courses in Cork College of Commerce are eligible for VTOS.
To qualify for VTOS applicants must be over 21 years of age and have been receiving social welfare benefits for at least 156 days (6 months).
You may qualify for VTOS if you are unemployed and receiving any of the following benefits for at least 6 months:
- Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.
- One Parent Family Allowance.
- Blind Pension
- Deserted Wife’s Allowance; Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension; Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Non-Contributory Pension
- Prisoner’s Spouse Allowance.
- An Adult Dependent on a person in receipt of Unemployment Assistance.
- A person on Disability Allowance.
- A person on Illness Benefit (you must apply to the Exemption Section, Dept of Social, Community & Family Affairs, Store St. Dublin 1 for an exemption to attend the course).
Please note: Places are LIMITED on the VTOS programme and are prioritised on the basis of:
- Educational need
- Period of time in receipt of Social Welfare payments
To apply for VTOS in this College:
- Complete the College Enrolment Procedure.
- A VTOS Application Form is also filled out with a passport size photograph included. 2017 form will shortly be available.
i) Complete Part 1, 2 and 3 of the VTOS Application Form.
ii) (Do not complete Part 4 and Do not send the form to Social Welfare).
- Return the form to Cork College of Commerce VTOS Office, Room G33, Ground Floor.
- The closing date for receipt of VTOS applications forms is September 4th 2017. Any Application Form received after this date will be treated as a late application.
If you fail to get a place on the VTOS programme, you may apply for Back-to-Education-Allowance through your Social Welfare Office.
What Benefits will VTOS participants obtain?
From January 1st 2013, VTOS participants who move from jobseeker’s payments will no longer have their new payments increased to the maximum €188 per week, in cases where their current jobseeker’s payment is less than this. People under 25 however will continue to receive a top-up rate of up to €160 per week. This will apply to new participants only.
Participants will also receive any secondary benefits they already have, such as:
- Fuel Allowance
- Rent Allowance
- Mortgage Interest Supplements
Other Supports include:
- No Course Fees
- Access to Text Books and Materials at the start of the course
Depending on your individual circumstances you may also be eligible for:
- Meal Allowance
- Travel Allowance (if you are staying more than 3 miles from the college while attending)
- Free childcare place for your child under the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS)
It was announced in Budget 2014 that the €20.00 weekly training allowance if you are on Social Welfare benefits for a year or more immediately before starting on the VTOS programme is being discontinued for new participants.
More detailed information about the rates of payment for VTOS participants can be found on the Department of Social Protection website.
Please note that since Budget 2010, people in receipt of VTOS or Back-to-Education Allowance will not be eligible for Student Maintenance Grants.
Further Enquiries: John or Jane, VTOS Coordinators (021) 4223806, firstname.lastname@example.org