Minister Haughey said "This is a hugely beneficial and highly specialised programme for well over half of the aircraft maintenance apprentices let go at S R Technics Dublin airport facility. These redundancies have had a major impact in my constituency and I am delighted that the State sector in the form of FAS, my own Department and the Department of Defence and the Air Corps have come together to establish this scheme to provide the expert training required for these highly skilled young people so as to enable them to progress to completion of their apprenticeships".
Minister Killeen echoed this sentiment when he said "This is a unique undertaking whereby the State in the form of the Department of Defence and the Air Corps has stepped in, the latter as a body with the ability to provide very specialist training, to assist these former S R Technics apprentices in order that they might progress to the successful completion of their apprenticeships. It is equally unique in that the apprentices will not be employed by the Dept. of Defence or the Air Corps but will avail of all of training facilities at Casement Aerodrome under the tutorship of Air Corps Instructors.
He said “I am delighted that this specialist branch of the Defence Forces has had the foresight and willingness to engage in partnership with FAS to implement this programme. The Air Corps has a highly skilled cadre of aircraft maintenance personnel and the aircraft on which the skills of the apprentices can be practised and honed. It trains its own personnel to the highest requisite standards and will now be providing similar training and expert knowledge to these apprentices. The Air Corps is one of the few employers of aircraft mechanics in the country and as such is delighted to be able to help out in these exceptional circumstances".
“This highlights the flexible and practical approach being taken by Government wherever possible to provide innovative solutions to assist redundant cohorts, in this instance a cohort of very highly specialised apprentices".
The scheme will commence at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel on Monday 27th September with the first group of up to 14 apprentices commencing their Phase 5 on-the-job training. It is envisaged that a second group of up to 17 apprentices will commence training in November 2010. Off-the-job training is being provided to these apprentices in between the on-the-job work placement phases in the Dublin Institute of Technology at Phases 4 and 6 of the apprenticeship cycle.
Minister Haughey said “Between the on-the-job and off-the-job training being provided to these former S R Technics apprentices the scheme in total will cost in the region of €1.4m. A significant element of this expenditure will be provided through the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) co-financing assistance announced last Tuesday by the European Commission on foot of an Irish application for support made last October. This EU funding will be matched by funding from the National Training Fund, particularly in relation to that element of the apprentices’ training which post-dates the EGF eligibility period in October 2011. It is intended that all the apprentices will have completed the requisite training phases with the Air Corps by the first Quarter of 2012.
FAS has also recently placed 5 other former S R Technics apprentices with another aircraft maintenance employer recently as part of the Redundant Apprenticeship Placement Scheme 2010.
In addition, FAS is seeking to secure further progression in their apprenticeships, at both on-the-job and off-the-job phases, of 4 more mechanical and automation and maintenance fitting apprentices made redundant at S R Technics.
The Minister said "This is a concrete example of the cooperative approach possible between State bodies to provide practical assistance to redundant apprentices".
"It is also an excellent example of the type of innovative scheme which can be co-financed with EU assistance under the EGF".