Q1: What is the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)?

A: The BTEI provides part-time further education programmes for young people and adults.  The aim is to give participants an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.

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 Q2: When and where are BTEI Programmes available?

A: Programmes are offered in partnership with a number of agencies throughout the country on a flexible part-time basis.  On average each module (class) will run for one or two sessions per week.  Classes are offered throughout the year in the morning, afternoons, evenings or weekends. For guidelines on the BTEI and to download an application form, click here

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 Q3: What will a BTEI Course Cost?

A: BTEI is free to:

• All with less than upper second level standard of education for example NFQ Level 4 or 5.
• All those in receipt of Social Welfare Payment
• All those dependant on a Social Welfare recipient
• All those with a current medical card
• All those signing for credits
• All others will be charged fees. 

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 Q4: Who can take part in BTEI programmes?

A: Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course being offered, but priority will be given to those with less than upper second level education.

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 Q5: Will taking part affect my social welfare entitlement?

A: In general, you are allowed to take part in BTEI funded programmes for up to 17 hours per week without it affecting your Social Welfare payments.  However, on certain payments you are expected to remain eligible for work.  You must furnish your social welfare office with details of the course you are attending.  It is best to discuss individual circumstances with the social welfare office. It is best to discuss individual circumstances with the social welfare office.

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 Q6: Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?

A: All courses offer access to certification at levels 1 to 6 through the National Framework of Qualifications.  Flexible approaches will allow you to build up credits over time and achieve recognised qualifications.

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 Q7: What will I get from taking part in a BTEI programme?

A: Participation on part-time programmes can provide opportunities to:

• continue your learning
• obtain national certification
• develop new skills
• pursue new employment opportunities

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 Q8: What BTEI courses are available to me?

A: To view BTEI courses click here

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