3000 additional BTEI Places announced under Jobs Initiative

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, T.D., today announced the allocation of 3,000 additional Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) places to Vocational Education Committees (VECs) around the country as part of the almost 16,000 additional places being made available under the Government’s Jobs Initiative.
The places will commence in September 2011 and brings the total number of approved BTEI places available nationwide to 12,000.
Announcing the providers of the additional places, Minister Quinn said, “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.”
“This is vital in order to give them the opportunity to re-skill and upskill and re-enter the world of work as quickly as possible.”
The additional places are being funded this year, at a cost of €3 million, through a redeployment of departmental savings.
The Minister for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon, T.D., welcomed the announcement and said, “The opportunities afforded by the BTEI complement full-time programmes and provide basic education and specific vocational skills. Flexible upskilling opportunities are essential to enable active participation in the labour market.”

“These additional places will enable VECs across the country to build on their important role in responding to the challenges facing the labour market by providing a wide range of learning opportunities.”
Minister Quinn added, “VECs must prioritise the unemployed with these additional places and I would urge them to address the needs in their local communities.”
Potential applicants will 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).