About VTOS

The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme provides a range of courses designed to meet the educational needs of unemployed people. The aim of the Scheme is to give people education and training opportunities to prepare them for employment or further education.
 Can I join the Scheme?

You can apply to join if you are:

  • Aged 21 or over
  • Recently made redundant
  • Getting social welfare payments
  • Signing for credits for at least six months
  • An Asylum Seeker with ‘leave to remain’
  • A Refugee
  • A dependent spouse of a person on any of the above

What does the programme involve?

  • National certification is available at Level 4 and 5 in the National Qualifications Framework through QQI and ECDL
  • Participants may spend a maximum of three years on VTOS
  • The length of stay will depend on your participation and attendance records.
  • Courses are full time and can last up to 2/3 years
  • Courses include a wide range of subjects and activities
  • In their second year participants have the option of undertaking a Foundation/Access to 3rd level course being run in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and get exemptions from subjects completed on VTOS


Courses Offered

Participants can undertake a range of modules throughout the course and work towards achieving a QQI Level 5 Award in Business Studies, and there is also the option of obtaining an ECDL. A range of subjects are offered such as:


  • Book-Keeping, Manual & Computerised
  • Payroll, Manual & Computerised
  • Communications
  • Computers/Information Technology with ECDL
  • Health & Safety At Work
  • Internet & Website Design
  • Spreadsheets
  • Door Security
  • Language – Conversational Spanish
  • TouchTyping, Word Processing
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Work Experience
  • Multimedia studies – (using your digital camera, managing digital photos, music, etc.)


Career Guidance
Students are assisted at every stage of their learning from induction to completion of the course, in the areas of learning, personal development, career options, job search skills and interview preparation throughout the course. Students also have access to a dedicated visiting Guidance Officer.

Work Experience
Students complete a work placement as part of the criteria for Work Experience module. VTOS is continually expanding its links with local industry and companies to obtain relevant and practical experience to enable learners to return to the work force.

Payments and Benefits on VTOS

If you are currently receiving Jobseekers Assistance or Benefit you will continue to receive an allowance equivalent to the rate of your Social Welfare payment. You may work (part-time) without it affecting your payment.
If you are in receipt of a Disability/Lone Parent payment you will continue to receive your payment from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. Participants signing for credits do not receive a VTOS payment but will receive meal/travel or childcare allowances if applicable.

Secondary Benefits
While on VTOS participants retain all secondary benefits (i.e. Christmas Bonus, Fuel Allowance etc.).

Fulltime childcare assistance is available to those attending VTOS.

Meals & Travel Allowance
A meal allowance of 80c per day is paid to all students.  A travel allowance is also paid to students living three miles or more from the College.

Books & Exam Fees
Course books are provided
Exam fees are paid by VTOS


Contact Details
Address VTOS Further Education Centre
Neale Road
Co. Mayo
Telephone 094 95 42995
Fax 094 95 42101
Email [email protected]
Website mayocollege.ie/vtos-ballinrobe
Co-ordinator Beatrice Brophy


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