The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme is an educational opportunities scheme for unemployed persons which is funded by the Department of Education and Science. The Scheme is operated through the 16 Education & Training Boards countrywide and provides a special range of courses designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people.


The aims of the scheme are:

to give unemployed people education and training opportunities which will develop their employability

to give participants the opportunity to gain recognised national certification

to prepare people to go into paid employment or on to further opportunities leading to paid employment


VTOS Courses

The ETBs operate special VTOS courses which are particularly suitable for persons who have been out of school for some time. The courses are full-time, approximately 30 hours per week (e.g. 6 hours a day for 5 days) and last for up to 2 years.

Certification is available at a range of levels, including Leaving Certificate, and QQI levels 3 – 6

There are no course fees.

For a handy list of FAQs about VTOS courses, please click here

For information about VTOS courses that are run in Training Centres near you, please refer to the page of your nearest FET centre found here

Download an application form – CLICK HERE

Further detailed information about entitlement and qualifications for VTOS courses can be obtained from the Department of Social Protection website. Click here to find out more.