Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
263. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide a list of the approved third-level institutions for the back to education allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56618/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.
The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and others in receipt of certain social welfare payments who pursue courses of education at second or third level. The conditions under which the BTEA operates are designed to support customers into employment, subject to meeting certain conditions. The budget allocation for 2021 is approximately €96.5m which represents a considerable investment in supporting participants to acquire the necessary education and skills to re-enter the labour market.
An approved course of study must lead to a qualification that is recognised by the Department of Further Education, Research, Innovation and Science or awarded by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) as laid out under the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The Department will provide the Deputy with a full list of the approved third level institutions supported under BTEA.
The table below details the number of students supported with a weekly BTEA allowance at year end from 2011, up to 31 October 2021. As part of the Government’s Pathways to Work 2021-2025 strategy, there is a commitment to increase participation and funding under this demand led scheme.
I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.
|Year||No. of BTEA Participants at year end|
|2021 (as of 31st October)||4,929|