Vocational Training - FAQs

What is the Vocational Training Assistance Scheme (VTAS)?

VTAS is a Department of Education, Sport and Culture (the Department) Scheme that offers financial assistance to individuals and organisations towards the costs of vocational training. 

In line with the Government’s aim of raising the skills of the Island’s workforce and this scheme provides financial support for a range of courses which will likely have a positive impact on the productivity of individuals and competiveness of Manx businesses.

This scheme supersedes the previous Vocational Training Financial Support Scheme (VTFSS) with effect from the 5 April 2017.

What is vocational training?

Vocational Training provides an individual with the knowledge and skills required for employment in a specific job or setting.  It prepares them to carry out a particular function or increase their professional competence, often to an industry recognised standard.

Who can apply for funding?

The Department will consider requests for funding from:

  • Employers who are based and provide employment opportunities within the Island
  • Individuals (employed or unemployed)
  • Those who are self-employed and/or sole traders

What type of training is supported?

The Department recognises that vocational training offers an alternative method of study/assessment to non-traditional subjects, and often encompasses work in a trade or a craft, or in a wide range of professional occupations. It is therefore our aim to ensure that employers have the right skills to support success in their business and workforce alike.

The Department will therefore consider any opportunities whereby an individual will be better equipped to perform their job, expand their role or pursue promotion or advancement in their chosen career as a result of the training.

What if the training isn’t available on Island?

The Department accepts that there are certain restrictions on the availability of vocational training locally and is therefore happy to consider applications for off-Island training courses, where this is the only feasible option. These courses may take the form of distance learning, computer based training and traditional classroom based study.

How do I apply?

Applications must be made to the Department in writing, ahead of the training taking place. All applications should be submitted in advance of the planned training activity and retrospective applications will not be considered.

There is a standard application form for individuals and organisations which can be downloaded on this page or alternatively, copies can be obtained from:

The Training Services Team

Department of Education Sport and Culture

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's

Isle of Man

IM4 3AS.

Telephone:+44 1624 687157

Email:Send Email

Individuals or organisations wishing to apply for financial assistance towards the costs of vocational training are required to set out a business case on the application form that demonstrates the likely economic benefit of the training.

What should I consider when making an application?

  • How is the training relevant to the individual and/or organisation?
  • What is the course's relevance to the success of the business and anticipated positive impact on profitability, staff turnover, staff development, skills shortages?
  • Is this particular option value for money?
  • What is the likely value of the development of the individual(s) to the Manx economy?

What happens once I’ve submitted an application?

Following the receipt of your application form the Department will endeavour to reply to you within 10 working days with a decision. We will write to advise you of the outcome of your application and, should you be made an offer of financial support the letter will outline the next steps. You have the right to appeal the decision if you are not awarded funding.

You will be required to submit further documentation (proof of attendance, pass certificates, invoices and receipts) upon the completion of the training in order to claim any financial assistance that has been offered.

What level of support is likely to be offered?

Financial support for vocational training will be awarded on a shared costs model, with 30% of the training fees being provided by the Department and the remainder of the cost being payable by the applicant. Only in exceptional circumstances would the Department consider providing support in excess of 30% funding.

Please note, in order to expedite the claim, copies of invoices and appropriate certification achieved should be submitted promptly to Department of Education, Sport & Culture upon conclusion of the training.

Can I claim for materials or travel expenses?

The Department will contribute towards the costs of training only, other expenses such as travel and accommodation or books and materials will not be subsidised under the VTAS scheme.

Is there anything else I need to know?

A more comprehensive and detailed guide to the purpose, scope and workings of the VTAS scheme is available as a downloadable document on this page, labelled ‘VTAS Guidance Document – January 2020’. It is recommended that all applicants read and familiarise themselves with its content prior to submitting an application.