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Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 4 July 2006

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Ceisteanna (653)

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

665 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); if in view of the Government’s commitment of encouraging unemployed people into education and subsequent employment she will review the criteria which act as a disincentive; and if she will ensure that people in similar circumstances receive the necessary financial support to further their education while looking after their children. [25704/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) consists of a range of full time courses designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people. The Scheme is funded by my Department and operated through the 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs). A VTOS allowance is paid by the VECs to students who had a prior entitlement to unemployment benefit or assistance. This category of student ceases to receive an unemployment payment and instead receives a VTOS training allowance at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of unemployment benefit, plus a payment for an adult or child dependant if appropriate. VTOS students who are in receipt of any other category of social welfare payment, such as one-parent family payment, continue to receive payment from the Department of Social & Family Affairs. This category of student does not receive a VTOS training allowance from the VEC. VTOS courses are provided free of charge, as are books and materials. Students who were at least 12 months in receipt of an eligible social welfare payment prior to joining the programme receive a weekly training bonus of €31.80. Funding is given to VECs to assist towards the child care expenses of participants in VTOS. A decision as to entitlement to Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a matter for the Department of Social & Family Affairs. FIS is defined by that Department as a weekly payment to families, including lone parents, who are at work on low pay.

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