Back to Education

What is the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)?

The BTEI provides part-time Further Education programmes for young people and adults.  It aims is to give participants an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.

When and where are BTEI programmes available?

Programmes are offered in partnership with a number of agencies throughout the country on a flexible part-time basis. Classes are offered throughout the year in the morning, afternoons, evenings or weekends.

What will a BTEI course cost?

The participants eligible for free tuition are people who (or their dependents):

• Have less than Leaving Certificate level qualifications or
• Are getting a jobseeker's payment or means-tested social welfare payment (there is a list of eligible payments in the BTEI Operational Guidelines (pdf) or
• Are getting Working Family Payment (formerly known as Family Income Supplement) or
• Have a medical card or
• Are eligible to participate on VTOS or Youthreach

All other participants are charged a fee.  For information about fees, you should contact your local Education and Training Board (ETB).

Who can take part in BTEI programmes?

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 Leaving Certificate level qualifications.

Will taking part affect my social welfare entitlement?

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you may keep your payment and participate in BTEI as long as you continue to satisfy the conditions attached to your payment.  If you are getting a Jobseeker's payment you will need to apply for the Part-Time Education Option.

Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?

Courses lead to a range of accreditation at levels 1-6 on the National Framework of QualificationsFlexible approaches will allow you to build up credits over time and achieve recognised qualifications.

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

Participation on part-time programmes can provide opportunities to:

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

What BTEI courses are available to me?

To view BTEI courses click here

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