The Training Support Grant (TSG) is designed to fund quick access to short term training
that can support individual jobseekers seeking employment (including self-employment ) to access work opportunities. The grant can be provided when a Case Officer or Job Coach have identified an immediate skills or related intervention, such as obtain or renew certification and permits that is preventing a jobseeker commencing a job offer. Courses up to and including QQI level 6 can be supported.
The scheme is not designed to substitute training and activation measures that are funded under other programmes and agencies, i.e. Solas or EducationTrainingBoards (ETB).
The objective is to identify skills needs of jobseekers and provide them with financial support up to the value of €1,000 per annum assisting jobseekers to obtain work, in line with their agreed personal progression plan (PPP).
Participants on the Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP) may be eligible to avail of TSG of up to €1000 on two occasions during a 12-month period. Note: 12-month period commences on the completion date of previous TSG intervention. This will also apply to jobseekers who are engaged with Jobpath and who go on to pursue a WPEP Placement.
Expenditure under TSG is funded through the National Training Fund (NTF).The scheme is cost neutral to the department as all expenditure is reimbursed from the NTF administered by the department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
Policy in respect of the scheme and these guidelines has been developed and are administered by:
Working Age Schemes Policy, Training Support Grant Scheme
Working Age Schemes Policy, Training Support Grant Scheme, Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 KD81.
TSG is an administrative scheme approved by the Government.
The National Training Fund (NTF) was established by the National Training Fund Act, 2000, as a dedicated fund to support training and research.
In accordance with the National Training Fund Act 2000, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science may award payments from the Fund to support the training of those in employment, and those seeking employment and for the funding of research to provide information on future skills requirements of the economy subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance.
All payments from the National Training Fund are subject to the provisions of the DPER Circular 13/2014 which outlines the requirements regarding the management and accountability for grants paid from public funds.
1.5 This Version
This version of the rules and guidelines for the Training Support Grant Schemes are operational from December 2021 and supersede previous guidelines issued in respect of the scheme.
2.1 Qualifying Payments/Schemes
The primary focus of this scheme is on jobseekers and on supporting the activation policy of the department.
Qualified Adults of Jobseekers payment who are job-seeking ONLY (activation measure)
Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
Work Experience Placement Programme (WPEP) Note: Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) Scheme is no longer available, however, time spent on YESS counts towards qualifying periods.
†Must continue to be genuinely seeking work (GSW) and available to work
Case Officers may support a customer in receipt of another DSP payment (other than State Pension) that is not listed above where the customer has an identified work/activation opportunity.
2.2. International Protection Applicants
International protection applicants with permission from the Department of Justice to access the labour market may be considered for TSG funding. Circular 32/21 ‘Protection Applicants’ (PAs) and access to employment support services’ refers.
2.3. TSG and Self-Employment
Qualifying self-employment schemes that may be considered for funding support under TSG:
Jobseekers Benefit Self-Employed (JBSE)
Jobseekers Allowance Self-Employed (JA Semp category)
Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)
Recipients of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and Short-Term Enterprise Allowance are in engaged self-employment, not seeking employment and therefore not supported for funding under TSG.
3.1 Selection Process
A Case Officer or Job Coach can approve a grant under this scheme where:
A training need is identified that is not otherwise provided by the department directly or any other state provider (such as Solas/ETB’s, Teagasc), within a reasonable length of time or at a location convenient to the jobseeker. (Refer to section 4 re double funding).
The intervention identified is linked to both the activation needs of the jobseeker and labour market conditions.
The intervention sought by the jobseeker forms part of the agreed personal progression plan (PPP) or action plan to enter or re-enter the labour market.
They are satisfied that the jobseeker has provided reasonable evidence of need (i.e. a job offer or a potential job offer) or has identified a skills gap or requirement to maintain or achieve accreditation (for example, safe pass, driving licences, HACCP, security industry permits). This could include consideration of the following:
o Driving tuition for HGV/Rigid/Bus can be considered i.e. Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) under the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
o Permits or Renewals can be considered under TSG where the permit is the result of training. For example, an applicant must undertake a course to obtain a permit to spray chemical herbicide (possible requirement for a landscaping job). Driving/PSA licences are excluded.
TSG should only be considered for courses (all modules) ideally up to 9 months, but always less than one year. Courses delivery should not be split to facilitate TSG funding. For example, where a jobseeker has completed year one of a two-year course, year two cannot be considered as a course.
TSG funding can be considered for individuals who wish to pursue appropriate upskilling online and where all the above relevant Selection Process criteria are satisfied.
3.2 Application Process
All applications/referrals for support require prior approval and must be made via a Case Officer or Job Coach.
Customer should submit a quotation from a provider. The quote should be considered by the officer to ensure that costs are in line with expectation based on training available locally. Case Officers or Job Coachs should also consider the location of the course and distance the customer has to travel.
Training providers will be required to submit quotations for the full amount. The Case Officer or Job Coach should advise the jobseeker of the grant amount available.
Providers must be located in Ireland (includes Northern Ireland).
The department does not endorse training providers. Past approval for one jobseeker to undertake training with a trainer is not an endorsement of that trainer for all future applications.
When a training need is identified and agreed, the Case Officer or Job Coach will print the TSG Accreditation of Provider & Training (APT) form. This must be signed by the provider and the customer before it is returned.
When the signed APT form is returned, the Case Officer or Job Coach will complete an on-screen application. The system will pre-populate the form with customer details and assign a unique reference number to each application. Other details on screen are completed by the Case Officer or Job Coach from the APT form.
TSG details can be located under Referrals on BOMI4.
Priority should be given to jobseekers most likely to progress to employment or jobseekers whose chances of gaining employment can be significantly improved
A maximum amount of €1000 per annum may be made available within a 12 month period for each jobseeker, regardless of the number of courses sought/required. Note: The funds limit is capped at €1000 and where a request is made in sterling this should be noted that the final payment does not exceed the stated limit in euros (refer to appendix 1 how to apply ECB rates).
A maximum contribution of €250 can be approved and paid for essential driver training (EDT). €250 only applies to Essential Driver Training (EDT) which refers to training course teaching and fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers(B licence).
Participants on the WPEP programme may be eligible to avail of TSG of up to €1000 on two occasions during a 12-month period where deemed necessary. This will also apply to jobseekers who are engaged with JobPath and who go onto pursue a WPEP Placement. Note: The second TSG course is to be availed of within the12 month period of the completion date of previous TSG intervention.
The Case Officer or Job Coach should enquire if the Customer has applied for funding from any other agency to undertake the training; if funding is provided from another source, only the balance of the cost should be approved and paid.
TSG should not be combined with any other department grants and/or the LES Mediator Fund grants.
oDouble funding – Where an ETB course is a full-time or longer term course it should be processed under the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and therefore, TSG cannot be considered. A course for TSG cannot be approved where the training provider is already funded in the provision of that course. Many courses run through an ETB will be funded by Solas or the European Social Fund (ESF) and should not be availing of TSG as they should be free of charge for jobseekers (fee exempt normally extends to medical card holders). However, there are some courses awarded by ETB’s where there is no existing funding that may be considered under TSG. Course fees payable should be clearly visible on the course details/profile applicable to all participants of the course. Activation staff should check with the ETB if a waiver is in place for a specific course and if not, decide whether TSG funding is appropriate.
oTSG is not payable with Community Employment (CE) programmes as they have access to their own training fund.
Funding may be provided up to and including level 6 on the National Framework Qualifications (NFQ) (refer to section 5 disqualifications).
The TSG is paid directly to the training providers after training has been completed.
Courses should not be funded in advance for any course.
*In general if a customer satisfies the TSG criteria and a genuine work opportunity is identified, funding can be considered for TEFL type courses. Most TEFL type courses are non-QQI and there are a number of Awarding Bodies for these types of courses on the current non-NFQ list
List of funding acronyms and information at Appendix 2.
5.1 The Training Support Grant should not be awarded for:
Training activities where there are no job opportunities or expectation of attaining work.
Short-term training is typically regarded as ideally 9 months but always less than one year. Longer duration training or courses of study provided by Solas/ETBs or other agencies should be under the Back to Education Programme (BTEA). The Part-Time Education Option (PTEO) is always less than one year.
Adult education and literacy courses (on the basis that they are generally provided free of charge to jobseekers).
Language learning programmes (except in cases where accreditation of existing language skills is required or there is evidence of a job offer).
Any third-level programmes that lead to an award above Level 6 on the QQI. Note: The QQI (HET) Level 6 which is a two-year course is not eligible for funding.
Continuing professional development programmes arranged/awarded by professional and/or regulatory bodies-e.g. Professional CPD programmes.
Ancillary items are not supported under TSG, for example:
oCost of Books
oToolkits for beauty or similar industry
It may be necessary for the Case Officer/Job Coach to obtain a breakdown of the funding requested where only the training element is supported. If the provider is saying the equipment is worth €x then that value should be subtracted from the course cost to establish the training cost. There is no scenario where TSG should be used to pay for kits of any sort.
6.1 Payment process
Payment should only be paid after the training has been completed i.e. when the customer:
Attends the course/training, undertakes the relevant assessments and achieves certification
Does not achieve certification but the trainer confirms that the customer undertook the full assessment but did not meet the standard required.
Invoices should indicate the VAT or other TAX Reference Number of the supplier. The overall amount should be shown less any participant contribution or third party funding.
Payment entered should be the net payment due to the provider (net of any contributions).
Once the intervention has been delivered, the Case Officer or Job Coach will check the TSG Approval and Verification Form and supplier invoice against the approved TSG application and attach these to the Accreditation of Provider and Training (APT) form. An order of payment is produced and attached to the supplier invoice (original only).
Providers must be located in Ireland (including Northern Ireland).
The documentation for payment should be forwarded to:
Vote Bookeeping Payments,
Department of Social Protection,
Dundalk SWSO / Intreo Centre,
St. Alphonsus Road,
Accreditation of Interventions
7.1 Accreditation of interventions
Only interventions that demonstrate outcomes for jobseekers should be funded.
Case Officers or Job Coaches should avoid measures that are not in line with a jobseeker’s personal progression/action plan, if the plan is available.
Courses up to and including QQI level 6 or equivalent awards within the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) can be supported and the Provider must be approved by QQI1. (Refer to disqualifications in section 5).
Evidence that the trainer is approved by QQI (or equivalent awards body) to deliver the specific programme must be attached to the Accreditation of Provider and Training (APT) Form submitted to Case Officer or Job Coach.
7.2 Non-accredited interventions
If the training intervention is not within the NFQ, the Case Officer or Job Coach must provide a rationale for supporting the proposed training to their Area Manager.
Funding for non-listed NFQ programmes – The Divisional Manager must be satisfied that equivalent level or industry recognitions are in place for the course before it is approved. Note: The Department does not endorse training providers. Past approval for one jobseeker to undertake training with a trainer is not an endorsement of that trainer for all future applications
A copy of any interventions approved by the divisional management must be forwarded by the Area Manager to Working Age Schemes Policy, Training Support Grant Scheme, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim N41 KD81.
A list of approved non-NFQ courses
is maintained by the WASP team on receipt of divisional approval for each of the specified courses. This list is uploaded on Stór by the DAO unit and is also available to view on the team site The operational element of this process on the BOMi system is not dealt with by the policy unit.
o1 QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is an independent State agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland.
As this is an administrative scheme, decisions cannot be appealed to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
All decisions made under this scheme can be reviewed by an officer not involved in the original decision or by a more senior officer.
9.1 Monitoring and Control
Case Officers should ensure that funds allocated are used efficiently and appropriately as per the Guidelines.
Follow-up by Case Officers or Job Coaches with jobseekers should be an integral feature of the scheme. On completion of the support being provided under this grant, the Case Officers or Job Coach should review, with the jobseeker, the effectiveness of the support provided and update the customer’s record accordingly. This feedback should form part of local reviews on the usage of the TSG support.
Where there are on-going requests for particular training, the Division should raise this at meetings with ETBs.
Each division should put in place arrangements for the ongoing monitoring of the support. In this context, it is important that local reviews are undertaken with providers to examine the type and availability of training that is being funded.
Each Intreo Centre should ensure that 5% of TSG payments are reviewed annually to verify all paperwork is in order
ECB European Central Bank RSU circulars 41/2017 and 24/2/21 updated refers.
The rate published on the day before the due date of entitlement should be used for a new claim or the effective date of a revised decision in the case of a review. The ECB is available for accessing daily where the ECB rates must be accessed by Google Chrome. Rates applicable from 1st May 2010 must refer to new ECB procedures, prior to that date the RSU conversion circulars.
Appendix 2 – List of acronyms and information related to TSG funding
(This list is not exhaustive.)
HACCP and FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland).
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is an independent statutory organisation. It was established by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998.
The FSAI protects consumers by ensuring that standards for food safety and hygiene are met by food businesses at all stages of production, processing and distribution. It works with other official agencies, including the Health Service Executive (HSE), to enforce food safety legislation in Ireland.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. A food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP is a systematic approach to identifying and controlling hazards, whether microbiological, chemical or physical, that could pose a threat to the production of safe food – in simple terms, it involves identifying what could go wrong in a food system and planning how to prevent it.
Ensures your food is safe and procedures you must put in place. It is a Legal requirement. Training for HACCP recognised accreditation may be funded under TSG.
– the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities.
Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)
regulates medicines and devices for the benefit of people and animals. They are committed to excellence in health product regulation through science, collaboration and innovation. Their remit and regulatory functions include human and veterinary medicines, clinical trials, medical devices, controlled drugs, blood and blood components, tissues and cells, and cosmetic products.
Health and Safety Authority (HAS)
- The Authority was established in 1989 under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 and reports to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The Authority has several major roles.
The national statutory body with responsibility for ensuring that over 2 million workers** (employed and self-employed) and those affected by work activity are protected from work related injury and ill-health.
The lead National Competent Authority for several chemicals where responsibility is to protect human health (general public, consumers and workers) and the environment, to enhance competitiveness and innovation and ensure free movement of chemicals in the EU market.
A key agency involved in market surveillance and ensuring the safety of products used in workplaces and consumer applications. We have a remit to protect 4.5 million citizens from unsafe products and articles and to enable the international movement and trade of goods manufactured in Ireland.
PASS – Safety Awareness Training Programme for Construction Workers.
Safe Pass is a safety awareness training programme for construction workers which is operated and managed by SOLAS. It is a one-day programme comprised of several modules, that allows you to work on construction sites without being a risk to yourself or others. Link for application form here firstname.lastname@example.org
Employers must make sure that employees on construction sites carry Safe Pass cards. As a result, employers must ensure that all employees are properly trained.
All workers in the construction sector, including apprentices, trainees and on-site security workers, must get safety awareness training and have a Safe Pass registration card before they can work on construction sites.
Every contractor (or other person working on their behalf) is required by law to ensure that everyone under their direct control on a construction site has received Safe Pass training and has been issued with a current Safe Pass registration card. Under health and safety legislation, employers must allow their employees paid time off from work to attend safety awareness training.
A Safe Pass registration card is provided on completion of the one-day Safe Pass training programme. This card lasts for 4 years from the date of the training course. The card is valid regardless of whether you leave the workplace provided it is in date. When it expires, attendance is required for another Safe Pass training course. Safe Pass Registration card is €32 not funded under TSG.
Safe Pass tutor should be accredited and have a recognised training or education qualification.
PSA – Private Security Authority standards
The full title of the document is PSA Licensing Requirement - Door Supervision and Security Guarding. The document may be referred to as PSA 28:2013. The Government of Ireland through the Private Security Services Act, 2004, established the Private Security Authority as the national regulatory and licensing body for the private security industry. Includes training for door supervisors, security guards and contractors.
PSA licence €90-€240 replacement is not covered supported under TSG.