Unemployed persons can access FAS training programmes for free irrespective of whether they are in receipt of a social welfare payment.
There is also a range of full time Adult and Further Education courses open to the unemployed. Full-time options include Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) and Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) courses. The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) is the part time alternative.
The PLC programme provides an integrated general education, vocational training and work experience programme for young people who have completed their Leaving Certificate and adults returning to education. Its purpose is to enhance their prospects of gaining employment or progressing to further or higher education. The PLC programme offers full time courses at FETAC Level 5 and 6.
The VTOS programme is a full-time education programme open to people over 21 years of age who are at least six months unemployed. VTOS offers programmes at Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate and FETAC Levels 3 — 6. There are no course fees for the PLC and VTOS programmes.
The BTEI aims to provide participants an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities. Courses delivered under the BTEI are free for adults with less than upper second level education.