Government announces enhancements to Back to Education Programme for jobseekers

16th May, 2014


Government announces significant enhancements to the Back to Education Programme (BTE) which will take effect from 1st June 2014 for the forthcoming academic year.

The BTE programme is a second-chance education scheme for jobseekers, lone parents and people with disabilities who are getting certain social welfare payments. Under the programme, income support is provided to allow participants undertake a second-level or third-level course to improve their education and skills.

The enhancements now being rolled out will support the policies outlined in the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy, which seeks to help 75,000 long-term unemployed people return to work by the end of 2015.

The key enhancements being introduced include:

· Applicants wishing to pursue the new Professional Master’s in Education will be able to avail of the BTE programme;

· Applicants who already hold a Level 5 or 6 qualification under the National Framework of Qualifications will now be allowed to undertake further courses of study at either of these levels to further their professional/career development and their overall job prospects;

· Confirmation that applicants for the Department of Education’s Springboard and Momentum initiatives in the forthcoming academic year will be supported under the BTE programme; and

· Revised application and selection processes and a stronger role for the Department in working with unemployed clients who are considering undertaking a course of study.