FAQs

The majority of programmes are part-time and learners are encouraged to achieve a major award. A major award is made up of 6 – 8 components depending on the QQI level of the award. Learners can learn at their own pace – some students may complete a major award in one year, other learners may take longer. We also run full-time programmes under VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) where students can achieve a full award at QQI level 5.

There are no fees for people who fulfil one or more of the following criteria;

  • In receipt of a social welfare payment
  • Who left school early without completing the Leaving Certificate or equivalent
  • Have a valid medical card
  • Not currently in the labour market

Call in to the Adult Education Centre on Main Street in Blanchardstown village or in Riversdale to complete a “Course Enquiry” form.

All applicants who apply for a course at QQI levels 3-5 are invited to an English Reading and Writing Assessment regardless of previous education attainment. This assessment is called screening. Based on the outcome of this screening, applicants may be invited for interview, offered an alternative course to suit their learning needs, placed directly onto a course or referred to our guidance service

VTOS means Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme. VTOS gives unemployed adults the opportunity of returning to full-time education without losing their social welfare payments.

  • Prepare you to go to paid employment
  • Prepare you for further education opportunities
  • Skills acquisition
  • Keep your social welfare payments while studying
  • Have access to the Adult Career Guidance Service
  • Receive a small lunch allowance and may be entitled to a travel allowance depending on the distance between your home and the centre
  • Receive books and materials free of charge
  • There is childcare support under the CETS scheme (Childcare Employment and Training Support)

Courses are provided free of charge.

All VTOS and BTEI courses run in Blanchardstown – in Main street (Old Garda Station), Blanchardstown village and in the Riversdale adult education centre.

Yes, if you are over 21 years of age and in receipt of one of the following for a minimum of 156 days:

  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Unemployment Assistance
  • Please note students who are receiving JA/JB will receive an equivalent VTOS Allowance instead
  • One-Parent Family Payment – Jobseekers Transition
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Disability Benefit (subject to obtaining permission from section)
    These applicants continue to receive their main SW payment
  • Dependant spouses and those signing for ‘credits’ who meet VTOS criteria are also eligible to participate in the scheme, but will not receive an allowance.
  • Those recently made redundant
  • Those who have spent time on a Tús/CE scheme may be considered

Applications to the VTOS Programme open each January for commencement on the course in September of that year. Applications must be completed and returned to the Adult Education Service Blanchardstown. All applicants are screened and must achieve the required standard in a language comprehension/literacy skills assessment to be invited for interview. Priority will be given to people who are in receipt of JSB/JSA/JST. Applicants may be referred to another course to build their skills prior to obtaining a place on VTOS.