Some 3,000 additional Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) places have been allocated to Vocational Education Committees (VECs) as part of the almost 16,000 places being made available under the Jobs Initiative.
The additional places are being funded this year, at a cost of €3m, through a redeployment of departmental savings.
The announcement brings the total number of approved BTEI places available nationwide to 12,000.
“These new BTEI places will provide additional part-time, flexible learning opportunities for at least 3,000 unemployed people who are low skilled or who left school without completing the Leaving Certificate,” said Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD.
“This is vital in order to give them the opportunity to reskill and upskill and re-enter the world of work as quickly as possible."
Potential applicants can apply to their local VEC for the courses, which begin in September.
The remainder of the 15,900 education places announced in the Jobs Initiative are being provided in the FÁS Specific Training programme (5,000 short course places and 1,000 long course places), the Higher Education Springboard programme (5,900 places) and PLCs (1,000 full-time places).
Photo: Ruairi Quinn, TD