Back To Education Initiative (BTEI)

What Is The BTEI?

The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time Further Education programmes for young people and adults.  The aim is to give people an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.

How Much a BTEI Course Cost?

BTEI courses are free of charge to people in receipt of an eligible Social Welfare payment and for applicants with less than a Leaving Certificate qualification or equivalent.  Fees are payable in certain other circumstances.

Who Can Take Part In The BTEI Programme?

Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course being offered, but priority will be given to those with less than a Leaving Certificate.

When Are BTEI Programmes available?

Flexibility is the key word.  Programmes can be offered on a part-time basis, in the mornings, afternoons or evenings.  Learners may complete single or combined modules.

Objectives of The Back to Education Initiative

The overall objectives of the BTEI are to:

Increase the participation of young people and adults with less than upper secondary education in a range of flexible learning opportunities.  A priority of BTEI is to target the individuals and groups that experience particular and acute barriers to participation in education and are more difficult to engage in the formal learning process.

 What Courses Are Available Through BTEI?

Courses Offered Can Include:

Computer Skills for Learning Online Level 3, Preparatory Skills for Further Education Level 4, Web Design Level 4, Introduction to Computers Level 3, Improving your Computer Skills Level 4, Advanced Computer Skills Level 5,  Introduction to Digital Photography Level 3, Learning to Sew Level 3, Digital Marketing Level 5, Maths Level 3 & 4, Healthcare Level 5, Pre Nursing Studies Level 5, Childcare Level 5 & 6, Applied Social Studies Level 5, Psychology Studies Level 5, Intellectual Disability Studies and Special Needs Assisting Skills Level 5 & 6.

 Is QQI Certification offered through the BTEI?

YES, BTEI courses on offer through Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB offer certification as provided through QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland).  This is the qualification sought by employers and is recognised at National and European Level.   For further information on QQI, visit their website

Which QQI level should I enrol for?

QQI Level 3 (Junior Certificate equivalence on the NFQ*) is suitable for those who have left school prior to completing the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) and wish to return to education.

QQI Level 4 (Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate equivalence on the NFQ) is suitable for those who have completed the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) but left school before completing the Leaving Certificate.

QQI Level 5 (Higher Level Leaving Certificate equivalent on the NFQ) is suitable for those who have completed Introductory Programmes at FETAC Level 4 and/or the Leaving Certificate.
*NFQ – National Framework of Qualifications –

Will taking part affect my social welfare entitlement?

In general, you are allowed to take part in BTEI funded programmes for up to 17 hours per week without it affecting your Social Welfare payments.  However, those in receipt of JSA/JSB must remain eligible for work.  You must furnish your social welfare / Intreo office with details of the course you are attending.  It is best to discuss individual circumstances with your local social welfare/INTREO office prior to accepting a place on a BTEI course.

Will I Be Paid While Attending A BTEI Course?

There is no training allowance.

What Will I Get From Taking Part In A BTEI Programme?

Participation in Part-Time Programmes can provide opportunities to:

  • Continue your learning
  • Obtain National Certification
  • Develop New Skills
  • Pursue New Employment Options

For Further Information and application contact:

Paula Dufficy, BTEI Co-ordinator, MSLETB, Quay St., Sligo.

Tel: 0719138412         e-mail:  [email protected]

 Emma Gray, BTEI, MSLETB, Quay St., Sligo

Tel: 071 9141251  e-mail:   [email protected]


You can apply for BTEI courses online at

Courses On Offer At NCC
Application Form
Check List