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Back To Education Initiative - BTEI

published in:Adult Education on Tue, 01 May 2012
visAlt:Ms. Mary Butler, BTEI Co-ordinator

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Back to Education Initiative 2014/2015 Prospectus


What is the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)?

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

When and where are BTEI Programmes available?

Programmes are offered in partnership with a number of agencies throughout the city and county on a flexible part-time basis.  On average each module (class) will run for one or two sessions per week.  Classes are offered throughout the year in the morning, afternoons, evenings or weekends.  The most popular class times are: 9.30am-2.00pm and 6.30pm-9.30pm.

What will a BTEI Course Cost?

Classes are free to all EU applicants:

  •  with less than upper second level standard of education i.e. QQI Level 4 or 5.
  •  in receipt of Social Welfare Payment
  • dependant on a Social Welfare recipient
  • with a current medical card
  • signing for credits

N.B.: Subject to availability, all other applicants will be charged a fee.  The current fee is €175 per module.

Who can take part in BTEI programmes?

Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course being offered, however priority will be given to those who did not get the opportunity to complete second level education (or equivalent).

NB:  Due to the high demand for BTEI places on all programmes you are asked to note that fee paying places can only be offered in exceptional circumstances i.e. existing learners who have lost their BTEI eligibility since enrolling.

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, on certain payments you are expected to remain eligible for work.  You must furnish your social welfare office with details of the course you are attending.  It is best to discuss individual circumstances with your local social welfare office prior to accepting a place on a BTEI course.

Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?

All courses offer access to certification at QQI(formerly known as FETAC) Level 1 to 6 through the National Framework of Qualifications.  Flexible approaches will allow you to build up credits over time and achieve recognised qualifications.

What will I get from taking part in a BTEI programme?

Participation on part-time programmes can provide opportunities to:

  • continue your learning
  • obtain national certification
  • develop new skills
  • pursue new employment opportunities
  • develop transferrable skills that have value across a range of settings.

What modules/programmes are on offer during the coming year?

The following are a sample of QQI Level 3 and 4 Component Certificates and Major Awards which may be offered in partnership with other agencies:

Component Certificates:

  • Business Calculations
  • Communications
  • Customer Service
  • Healthcare
  • Health and Fitness
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
  • Personal Development
  • Teamworking
  • Art(Drawing)
  • Art(Painting)

Major Awards at Level 4

  • Culinary Skills
  • General Learning
  • Horticulture
  • Office Skills
  • Retail Skills

Major Awards at Level 5

  • Business Studies
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Healthcare Support
  • Horticulture

Major Awards at Level 6

  • Early Childhood Education and Care

The following QQI Level 3, 4 and 5 component certificates/programmes are offered directly through this service:

  • Basic Education
  • Childcare
  • Healthcare Support
  • Information Technology Skills
  • Office Skills
  • Horticulture
  • Other modules may be offered subject to demand

Which course(s) will suit me?

If you are unsure of which course to begin with you can either contact the BTEI Office on 056 7795916, or make an appointment for a free consultation with one of our Adult Guidance Counsellors on 056 7764448.  In general, an Information/Registration Session is held before the start of each course.

Garda Vetting

A range of programmes on offer through the BTEI have a Work Experience element included.

NB: Those wishing to undertake their Work Experience placement in a setting with children and/or vulnerable adults will be required to undertake Garda Vetting.   As this process can take some time you will only be assigned to modules with a Work Experience element once you have achieved your Garda Vetting.


All applicants are asked to note that selection for Childcare and Healthcare courses is a two way process.  All Carers have a special place in the life of the person(s) who are being cared for.  However, the job of a carer can be both physically and emotionally demanding.  We invite you to consider the following points in order to reflect on your potential strengths and weaknesses as a Carer.

The work of a carer can involve:

  • Assisting with personal care such as feeding, washing, bathing, showering and toileting;
  • Assisting with mobility needs and the use of a hoist;
  • Assisting clients to transfer from a bed to a chair, or toilet
This list is not exhaustive.

If you have any queries with regard to this information, you should make an appointment to discuss same with the Programme Co-ordinator and/or Adult Guidance Counsellor who referred you(if applicable).

Please note:

  • Learners seeking work placements in any setting that cares for children and/or vulnerable adults will be required to inform us of any condition or circumstance relevant to their application for work placement.
  • You will be asked whether you have ever been accused of or the subject of investigations in relation to abusive behaviour. 
  • If you have any concerns regarding your capacity to do the job of a Carer, please discuss same with the Programme Co-ordinator and/or Adult Guidance Service.

Is QQI certification offered through the BTEI?

YES, all BTEI courses on offer through Kilkenny and Carlow 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 www.qqi.ie

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 QQI Level 4 and/or the Leaving Certificate.

NFQ - National Framework of Qualifications 

When do classes commence?

Classes commence throughout the year subject to sufficient interest. 

N.B: Classes offered in partnership with other agencies are offered subject to local demand.

When should I enrol for BTEI funded classes?

Applications for BTEI classes are accepted on an ongoing basis.

How will I know if I have obtained a BTEI place?

Once the BTEI office has received your Full Application and Social Welfare Form (if applicable), your name will  be placed on a waiting list for the course(s) applied for.  You will then be invited to an Information/Registration Session for the course you have expressed an interest in.  In general, your place will be confirmed within two week of attending this session.

N.B.:  Based on our current allocation of funding, there is currently a waiting list in place until January 2015 for all eligible applicants with Leaving Certificate standard of education (QQI Level 5) or higher.

Opportunities for Community Groups

The BTEI has built up a number of very close links with a number of partnership agencies throughout the County.  If your local community and/or voluntary group would like to offer courses leading to qualifications in your own community you are invited to contact us to discuss same.

We provide the tutors, deliver the programmes, and manage all matters relating to Quality Assurance and offer QQI accreditation.

Contact Details

Block A, Unit 7, Danville Business,
Ring Road, Kilkenny

Co-ordinator:  Ms. Mary Butler

T: 056-7701020

E: BTEI@kkadulted.ie

W: www.kcetb.ie   


Butler Court