Local Minister Alan Kelly has welcomed the recent proposal by the European Commission to grant 36m from the EGAF to ex-construction workers to help them retrain, upskill and access further education. In addition to this funding, the Government would add 19m, delivering a total fund of 55m that can be used for personal training and education and the establishment of individual business.
“The EGAF fund is one of the most important funds in Europe. Those who have been made redundant as a result of the crisis can benefit from the fund through retraining, upskilling and further education” noted the Minister
“Ireland had EGAF applications by the previous Irish Government for the Dell workers in Limerick and the Waterford Crystal workers. This time however, the funds are aimed at more than 3,300 small operators from all around the country who had to make redundancies in the difficult economic times. The ex-workers from these firms will be able to apply to the fund.”
“The implementation process, formerly run by FÁS, also needs to be looked in order to maximise its efficiency. Those who have been made unemployed deserve the greatest benefit that this fund can deliver and I intend to work closely with any group to ensure that this happens” stated the Minister.
Whilst the funding has not been fully approved, the Government and MEP’s are confident that this fund will be approved with a matter of weeks.