What is the Part-Time Education Option for jobseekers?

It is possible to keep your jobseeker’s payment and take part in part-time courses

Written by spunout


The Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) allows you to keep your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit and attend a part-time day or evening course for education or training.

What is the Part-Time Education Option?

The Part-Time Education Option gives you the opportunity to learn new skills while looking for employment.

Do I have to still look for a job while taking part in PTEO?

Yes, to ensure you can keep your Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be able to show that you are still actively looking for, and willing to take up work and that the course is likely to improve your chances of getting a job. If you are offered work while on the course, you will be expected to accept the job offer.

Is PTEO the same as Back to Education Allowance?

The Part-Time Education Option is not the same as the Back to Education Allowance or the Education, Training and Development Option.

How do I qualify for PTEO?

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the PTEO. You can be any age and may be unemployed for any length of time before starting a part-time course of education.

Can I keep my jobseeker’s payment while taking part in PTEO?

If you are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit, you may take up the Part-Time Education Option and continue to get your jobseeker’s payment. Your Intreo centre or social welfare local office must be satisfied that the course is likely to improve your chances of getting a job. You must continue to satisfy the conditions of being available for and genuinely seeking work.

What type of courses are covered?

You can take part in a part-time day course, evening course or early morning course, distance education or a part-time course under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) or Springboard. In some cases, you can do part-time courses which run during the normal working day such as courses under the BTEI.

A wide range of subjects is available under the BTEI. For example:

  • Basic adult education
  • Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate subjects such as English and maths
  • Other courses including personal development, catering, tourism, communication, sport and leisure

How do I find out more about the courses available?

To find out about available courses and get advice on how to get a place on a course, you should contact your local ETB, school or college, public library or Citizens Information Centre (CIC).

How do I apply for the Part-Time Education Option?

All applications for the PTEO should be made by filling out form PTEO1. You will be asked to provide information about your course, for example, the course timetable.

You can apply for the Part-Time Education Option at your Intreo centre or social welfare local office.

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.


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