Funding Information

The type of course can affect the type of funding that is available to learners. Learners are advised to check directly with their chosen course provider regarding the funding options open to them.

Some forms of education and training funding are:

Student Universal Support Ireland, (SUSI) Student Maintenance grant.

SUSI can provide maintenance grants to learners participating in fulltime PLC courses at QQI levels 5 & 6 in Laois & Offaly ETB. Grants are paid on a sliding scale depending on the applicants circumstances. Applicants must meet a range of eligibility criteria including; age, residency status, nationality and income. Applicants must also be progressing in education as funding from SUSI is not usually available for a repeat qualification. However all learners are advised to contact SUSI with their queries.

Applications for the Student Maintenance grant are made online at It is not necessary to have received an offer of a course place before applying to SUSI as this information can be confirmed at a later stage. Applicants are advised to apply well in advance of the closing date to ensure that their application is processed in time for the next academic year.

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

BTEA is a payment from the Department of Social Protection to enable learners in receipt of a DSP payment to participate in fulltime education. Applicants must meet a range of criteria including age, length of time on a DSP payment, be progressing in education and have had their course choice approved by the Department as part of their individual progression plan. More information on BTEA is available on or through local Social Welfare or Intreo offices.

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)

The VTOS scheme provides a range of courses to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people. It gives participants opportunities to improve their general level of education, gain certification, develop their skills and prepare for employment, self-employment and further education and training. Applicants must be aged twenty-one or older and be in receipt of a social welfare payment for at least six months before their chosen VTOS course begins.

Successful applicants can receive a VTOS payment for the duration of their course instead of their social welfare payment. They may be able to avail of additional supports including childcare support and small meal and travel allowances. Books and course materials may also be provided. Information on VTOS opportunities in Laois & Offaly ETB is available from the Adult Educational Guidance & Information Service. Email

Training Allowances:

Laois & Offaly ETB delivers an extensive range of training to a wide variety of learners including those entering the labour market for the first time, those seeking to re-enter the workforce, or those seeking to update their skills.

Learners participating in the different training programmes may be eligible for a training allowance. Different programmes may have different eligibility criteria so applicants are advised to check with their chosen course provider or with their local Social Welfare or Intreo office. Further information is available on

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