VTOS Adult Education in Swinford
Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) is designed to meet the Education and Training needs of unemployed adults. Swinford VTOS is one of 6 schemes in providing second chance education and training in Co Mayo. It has been operating at the Further Education Centre, Swinford since 1991 and over 350 students have successfully completed the programme, many of whom have secured employment with organisations such as Mayo County Council, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB, Schools and many other employment outlets. Other students have progressed to further and 3rd level education.
At present Swinford VTOS caters for 20 students. Their ethos is to provide training in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where the needs of the student are paramount. Students are encouraged to achieve their own learning goals, facilitating them in creating a greater awareness of their own abilities, thus gaining confidence in every aspect of their lives. This learning environment is cultivated by the co-ordinator and teachers of the centre to encourage each student to develop to their full potential.
Swinford VTOS offers a 2 year programme in Computers and Business. Training is available in a range of subjects including business, computing and office skills, all of which are relevant to employers and the business community today. Career Guidance is also available to all students.
The emphasis in the first year of the programme is to build a solid foundation in subjects including computing, communications, keyboarding, and functional maths. This is used as a basis for participants to progress to more intensive study in the second year. No prior knowledge is expected. The Course leads to QQI (FETAC) awards at levels 4 and 5.
Anyone who is over 21 and in the social welfare system for 6 months or more is eligible to apply to Swinford VTOS. The course is free with meal and travel allowances provided. Students retain their social welfare benefits and there may be an additional training allowance for students who are between 21 and 25 years of age.
The idea of returning to education as a mature student seems daunting, people worry that they won’t fit in, won’t be able to keep up with others in the class or make friends. However, the benefits of returning to education far outweigh any negative feelings you may have. It provides an opportunity to continue your education and training, develop new skills, improve your confidence and self-esteem and make lifelong friends.
VTOS Further Education Centre Open Day
Swinford VTOS is hosting an Open Day on Wednesday 17th June from 11am – 2pm. All unemployed adults are welcome to come along to find out more about the Computer and Business Course which is due to start in September 2015. Visitors will have an opportunity to discuss their options, meet staff and students and take a tour of the building.
Take the first step, drop into the Further Education Centre, Dublin Road, Swinford on their Open Day and discover how easy and rewarding it can be to embrace the challenge of retuning to education.