In many cases for our full-time courses the training is free. In fact you may be entitled to a training allowance.
Full-time training courses through Traineeships, Specific Skills Training and Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) are free to all students and part-time provision through the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) is free to those in receipt of a Department of Social Protection payment or to a medical card holder or people who have less than an upper-second level education.
Traineeships* and VTOS Schemes allow those who are long-term unemployed to avail of full-time training courses and continue to receive payments by way of a training allowance, in some instances students may also be entitled to travel and meal allowances (some conditions may apply).
*There are a small number of specialised courses that may have associated costs.
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are subject to a registration fee of €100.00. The registration fee will cover the cost of books, exams and photocopying.
The following categories of participants are exempt from paying the €50 QQI exam fee:
- Full medical card holders in their own right and their dependent children
- Those who are eligible under the student grant scheme
- Those in receipt of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)
Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)
If you are unemployed, parenting alone or have a disability and are receiving certain payments from the Department of Social Protection you may able to take part in a second or third level course and receive a Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). For more information contact your local Welfare office or visit www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-social-protection/.
The Youthreach Programme is free to early school leavers or those aged between 16 and 20 years old. A training allowance will be paid to students: €40.00 per week for those aged 16 and 17 and €208 (subject to change) per week for those aged 18 and over. Travel and meal allowances are also available.
The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) offers part-time courses to people aged 18 years + with no formal second level education. The courses are free to participants (or their dependents) who
- Have less than an upper-second level education or
- Are in receipt of jobseeker’s payment or means-tested social welfare payment or
- Are getting family incomes supplement or
- Have a medical card
In some cases, fees may still apply, for more information contact Donegal ETB on (074) 9164199.
Training Services Part-Time Provision (Evening Classes) Students in receipt of a Department of Social Protection payment may be entitled to a fee waiver depending on the type of payment they are receiving. Part-time evening classes may have some associated costs for those who are in employment. For more information, contact Training Services on (074) 9120500.
The following website www.student finance.ie is an online resource detailing all aspects of funding, grants and social welfare benefits relating to education and training.
*For more information on the above programmes or if you would like to speak to the coordinator for any of the above programmes please visit the FET Programmes Explained section on this website.