Back to Education Programmes
Learn about the different Back to Education programmes available.
There are a number of schemes available for people who wish to return to education if they are long term unemployed. Your eligibility for these schemes depends on your situation, and the level of education you have already reached.
These range from part time to full time options, and you have the choice of returning to second level, third level, or postgraduate study.
What Back to Education Programmes are available?
Take a look at all of the different programmes available to find out what might be best for you.
Back to Education Initiative
The Back to Education Initiative is a part time further education courses for people aged over 16 who left full time education with less than an upper second level qualification (such as the Leaving Cert).
Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)
The BTEA is an educational opportunities scheme for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities who are receiving benefit payments from the Department of Social Protection. There are three different payments available depending on what type of course you would like to do.
- Back to Education Allowance - Second Level - You can attend a second-level course of education at any secondary, community, comprehensive or vocational school.
- Back to Education Allowance - Third Level - You can attend any third-level course in an approved third level institution.
- Back to Education Allowance - Postgraduate - To qualify for the BTEA at postgraduate level you must be over 24 and have been getting a qualifying social welfare payment.
Part-Time Education Option
The Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) allows you to keep your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit while attending a part-time day or evening course. Courses can include basic adult education, completing Junior or Leaving Certificate subjects, or training and education in an area you would like to work in.
Education, Training and Development Option
The Education, Training and Development Option are short courses that let you retain your Jobseeker's payment. Courses can include personal development, general training, job skills or evening courses.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.