Minister for Training and Skills, Damien English, T.D. today ( December 2014) welcomed the approval by the European Institutions including the European Commission, Council of Ministers and European Parliament of the Department of Education and Skill’s EGF application seeking co-funding for a progamme of career development, training, education and enterprise supports for 171 workers, the majority of them women, who were made redundant late last year at the Andersen Ireland jewellery manufacturing plant, Rathkeale, County Limerick.
The EGF programme is also assisting up to an equal number of targeted young persons under the age of 25 years not in employment, education or training (NEET) in West Limerick under a new optional element of the EGF.
Minister English said “It is great news that the eighth successive Irish EGF application in a row has been fully approved by the EU. To date Ireland has drawn down some €38m in EU EGF funding to facilitate almost 22,500 interventions provided to some 10,000 redundant workers. There has been a good start to the latest programme in Rathkeale in anticipation of this EU approval and I am confident the programme will continue to be of considerable assistance to the EGF beneficiaries in West Limerick”.
A formal European Commission Decision was signed on 15 December 2014 releasing the EU co-financing contribution of €1.5m to the Department of Education and Skills as the national EGF Managing Authority for the Andersen Ireland programme. The EU co-financing contribution represents 60% of the estimated cost of €2.5m for the two year programme, should all funding ultimately be drawn down with the Government providing the remaining 40%.
The programme, which has been funded to date through entirely national sources, has been up and running since early 2014 with local education and training service providers such as the Limerick Clare Education and Training Board and SOLAS putting in place courses rapidly to react to the major job losses in the Rathkeale area upon the Andersen Ireland closure.
Subsequently EGF Open Days were held in June and July to showcase the range of supports to be provided under the EGF programme. To date some 123 of the Andersen Ireland workers and a further 69 young NEET persons are participating in guidance, education and training courses and enterprise supports under the programme. A large number have received specialist career development support through the unique EGF training grant scheme which has been developed as a feature of Irish EGF programmes.
A consultative forum under the independent chairmanship of local businessman and entrepreneur Liam Woulfe has been established and has met twice to date. The forum provides worker representative stakeholders and service providers with the opportunity to discuss progress on the ongoing implementation of the programme.
The Department of Education and Skills also submitted in September 2014 another EGF application in support of redundant workers at the Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, certain ancillary enterprises and a targeted number of unemployed young persons under 25 years of age in the area. The European Commission is currently examining this application before it enters into further inter-service and EU institutional consultation.
Note for Editors
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is an EU instrument which assists
workers made redundant through the adverse impacts of globalisation by providing up to 60%
co-funding for approved active labour market programmes of guidance, training, education
and enterprise supports.
The fund draws on savings in the annual EU budget with up to €150m available annually across all Member States on a “first come, first served” basis in the new funding round period between 2014 – 2020.
Since 2009 Ireland has made 7 previous successful EGF applications prior to the Andersen
Ireland application. EU co-funding has contributed some €38m of total EGF expenditure to
date of almost €60m on these programmes.
A new EGF Regulation came into effect in 2014 which reinstates the former “economic and
financial crisis” criterion, increased EU co-funding back up to 60% and permits self-employed
persons and a new category of young persons under 25 – 30 years old who are not in
employment, education or training, to be included in EGF programmes in certain prescribed
Approved EGF programmes are of a finite 24 months duration commencing from the submission of an application by a Member State and ahead of formal EU approval. Standard EGF applications must encompass collective redundancies of at least 500 workers but there is a limited exceptional circumstances provision where numbers can be lower dependent, inter alia, on impacts on the local, regional or national economy and provided the globalisation rationale is still proven to the EU’s satisfaction.
For further details see www.egf.ie