Thursday, 26 September 2019

Ceisteanna (193)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

193. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of participants on the back to education allowance scheme on third level courses of education in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the percentage of those participants who did not complete the course in each year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39199/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Back to Education Allowance Scheme (BTEA) is designed to support second chance education. It enables eligible persons to pursue education and to continue to receive income support for the duration of a course of study. The weekly rate of payment is linked to the persons' underlying payment, for example jobseekers allowance, and all budget increases in these rates are applied to BTEA recipients.

Government has provided almost €62 million for BTEA in 2019. This represents a considerable investment in supporting participants to acquire the necessary education and skills to re-enter the labour market.

The following table details the number of students attending 3rd level, supported with a weekly BTEA allowance for each academic year (as of March each year):

Date

Third Level Participants

2014/15

13,106

2015/16

11,167

2016/17

8,676

2017/18

6,681

2018/19

5,428

My Department does not maintain statistics on the number of BTEA participants that do not complete their course of studies.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.