Written Answers. - Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

599 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals he has to review the £25 training allowance paid to those on VTOS courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7445/01]

In April 1999, a training bonus of £25 per week was introduced for FÁS participants who were registered as long-term unemployed prior to starting their programme, that is, at least 12 months unemployed. This allowance was later approved for eligible VTOS participants, including those in receipt of unemployment payment, one-parent family payment or disability payment, who had been in receipt of their payment for at least 12 months prior to starting VTOS. The bonus was introduced as an incentive to encourage greater participation of long-term unemployed people to join education and training programmes. There are no plans at present to alter the terms and conditions of this bonus payment.