10 December,2014 - Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English announce Christmas Bonus Scheme for 18,000 trainees

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English have confirmed that approximately 18,000 trainees on the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) and other training schemes will receive the Christmas bonus that the Government approved in Budget 2015.

The bonus will be see recipients receive 25% on top of their weekly training allowance.  Arrangements to make the payments are already underway through SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards.

Speaking today at the Education Committee where the proposal was discussed as part of the Department’s supplementary estimate Minister O’Sullivan said, “I am pleased to announce that certain participants on VTOS and other training courses will receive the 25% Christmas bonus.  Budget 2015 saw this payment restored for those on core social welfare payments and today I can confirm that eligible participants on VTOS and other training courses will also receive the additional payment.

Minister Damien English welcomed the move stating “I know this payment will be very welcome and assist people to deal with the additional costs that arise at this time of the year.  All of those who have been out of work for more than 15 months and those in receipt of other long-term social welfare benefits who are in receipt of training allowances will receive this bonus.  For those on the standard rate allowance it will result in an additional payment of €47.”

ENDS.