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Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)

VTOS is the Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme and is funded by the Department of Education & Science to encourage adults to return to full time learning. Under the VTOS programme eligible adults can participate in full-time training, without losing their benefits. This, in effect, means that people who are in receipt of social protection payments prior to going on VTOS will retain their entitlements. The VTOS allowance will be paid for the duration of the course including all holiday periods. As VTOS is not means-tested, VTOS participants may also take up part-time work without affecting their payments.


VTOS eligibility

Places are available on this scheme for those receiving:

  • Job Seekers Benefit /      Allowance
  • One-Parent Family      Payment 
  • Disability Allowance /      Benefit
  • Farm Assist
  • Invalidity Pension, or
  • Widow/Widower’s      Contributory/Non Contributory Pension.
  • Other      social protection payments may qualify, contact centre for details

An extra training allowance of €20.00 per week is payable to those in receipt of any of the above benefits for at least one year prior to joining VTOS.  

Places are also available for:

  • Those      signing for credits, or
  • Those      for whom adult dependant allowances are payable.  

However, neither of these categories is eligible for the additional training allowance payment.

To participate on the VTOS scheme, all candidates must be in receipt of one of the above for a minimum of six months (this time period can be waived for persons who receive statutory redundancy) and be at least 21 years of age. Travel allowances are available where applicable.  


Childcare assistance is also available through the CETS (Childcare Employment and Training Support Scheme) operated by the North Tipperary County Childcare Committee.


VTOS Full Time Programme

The VTOS programme at Coláiste Éile is offered over one or two years on a full-time basis. There are three full-time options available in Coláiste Éile to adults returning to further education.


Each of the three programmes is designed to support the adult student return to formal learning by building their confidence and providing them with a solid learning foundation. The programmes give the adult student as much choice as possible in terms of realising their learning goals. Each additional subject achieved is further credit towards their overall award.


Each programme is divided into four semesters over a two year period. Enrolment takes place in September & January. Applications may be made in advance. Places are strictly limited and are allocated firstly on VTOS eligibility and then on the basis of educational achievement at the time of application and finally on the basis of date application is received. In addition to the two semesters there is a summer project during the summer where the emphasis is on more holistic subject content giving the student a wider educational experience.


There are additional supports available in the afternoons to assist students with their work as well as having computer facilities available. Potential students should note that to complete the necessary programme, students should allow for thirty hours per week.


Each semester is 16 weeks long and the first week is an introductory week.  The times of the classes are available on the course timetable which you may request from the coordinator or administrator.


Please note the college reserves the right to alter the full-time programme detail and any amendments to the programme will be notified to the relevant students.


The summer project can include subjects such as;

Art & Design                          Historical Studies                    Irish

First Aid                                  Computers                               Manual Handling

Health & Fitness                   Music Appreciation                 Video Expression