The local VEC will be the recipient of an additional 49 Back to Education Initiative (BTEI ) places as part of the Government’s national jobs initiative, it was annnounced this week.
The places will commence in September and potential applicants must apply to their local VEC offices for the courses.
This brings the total number of approved BTEI places available in Westmeath to just under 200, and nationwide to 12,000.
Earlier in the week, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, announced the allocation of 3,000 additional BTEI places around the country as part of the almost 16,000 additional places being made available under the jobs initiative. These are allocated in accordance with population, with Longford getting 48, Roscommon 27, and Dublin city getting 419.
“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 the Minister.
“VECs must prioritise the unemployed with these additional places and I would urge them to address the needs in their local communities.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,” said Ministr Quinn
The additional places are being funded this year, at a cost of €3 million, through a redeployment of departmental savings.
The remainder of the 15,900 education places announced nationally 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 ).
“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,” said the Minister for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon.
Westmeath VEC can be reached at (044 ) 9348389.