Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1464, 1465)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1464. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young persons under 26 years of age who are participating on the back to education scheme by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19691/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1465. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the additional financial supports a young person under 26 years of age on the lower rate of jobseeker's allowance will receive when transitioning to an education programme supported by the back to education scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19692/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1464 and 1465 together.

The back to education allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and others in receipt of certain social welfare payments that pursue courses of education at second or third level. The main focus of the BTEA is to assist qualifying applicants to improve their educational qualifications and improve their prospects of gaining employment.

Age related payment rates for BTEA participants were abolished from 1st September 2017. As a result all BTEA participants receive a weekly payment to the maximum standard rate of their qualifying payment. For example Jobseekers who were previously on an age-related jobseeker allowance payment, will receive the maximum jobseekers weekly payment of €203 if approved for BTEA, subject to any deductions for means.

At the end of April 2019 there were approximately 8,630 students in receipt of the BTEA. The number of these students who are aged under 26 years is 2,009. This information is  broken down by county as provided in the attached tabular statement.

In 2017/2018 academic year, the Government reintroduced the annual Cost of Education Grant. This grant of €500 is payable to BTEA participants with a child dependant on their BTEA payment.  Of the total 2,009 BTEA recipients under 26 year olds, some 140 are eligible for this grant.

The BTEA is not intended to be an alternative form of funding for people entering or re-entering the third level education system.  The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant payable by the Department of Education and Skills represents the primary support for persons pursuing education.  In general, most BTEA customers will also have certain registration and related college fees paid by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

I trust this clarifies the matters raised by the Deputy.

COUNTY

Participants of BTEA under 26 (April 2019)

CARLOW              

44

CAVAN               

35

CLARE               

53

CORK                

149

DONEGAL             

180

DUBLIN

415

GALWAY              

94

KERRY               

78

KILDARE             

59

KILKENNY            

56

LAOIS

41

LEITRIM             

11

LIMERICK            

91

LONGFORD            

19

LOUTH               

104

MAYO

54

MEATH               

31

MONAGHAN            

21

OFFALY

70

ROSCOMMON           

19

SLIGO               

31

TIPPERARY           

97

WATERFORD           

102

WESTMEATH           

30

WEXFORD             

53

WICKLOW             

72

 

2,009