The Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) allows you to keep your Jobseeker’s
Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit
and attend a part-time day or evening course of education or training.
You must continue to meet the conditions for Jobseeker’s Benefit or
Jobseeker’s Allowance. This means that you must be able to show that you are
still actively looking for and willing to take up work and that the course is
likely to improve your chances of getting a job. If you are offered work while
on the course you will be expected to accept the job offer.
The Part-Time Education Option is an administrative scheme. However, you can
decision to refuse you the PTEO, if you have been refused because you are
considered not to be available for employment.
The Part-Time Education Option is not the same as the Back to Education Allowance or the
Education, Training and
There are no specific eligibility criteria for the PTEO. You can be any age
and may be unemployed for any length of time before starting a part-time course
Keeping your jobseeker’s payment
If you are getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit you may
take up the Part-Time Education Option and continue to get your jobseeker’s
payment. Your Intreo centre or social welfare local office must be satisfied
that the course is likely to improve your chances of getting a job.
You must continue to satisfy the conditions
of being available for and genuinely seeking work.
You can take part in a part-time day course, evening course or early morning
education or a part-time course under the Back
to Education Initiative (BTEI) or Springboard.
In some cases, part-time courses which run during the normal working day will
be accepted, for example, courses under the BTEI.
A wide range of subjects is available under the BTEI. For example:
- Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate subjects such as English and
- Other courses include: personal development, catering, tourism,
communication, sport and leisure.
Finding a course
To find out about available courses and get advice on how to get a place on
a course, you should contact your local ETB, school or
college, public library or Citizens
Information Centre (CIC).
You will continue to get your Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s
Benefit at your usual rate and any other secondary benefits.
How to apply
All applications for the PTEO should be made on form PTEO1 (pdf).
You will be asked to provide information about your course, for example, the