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Minister Cannon Notifies Redundant Construction Workers of Further EGF Supports

The Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon, T.D., today notified 8,779 construction workers and apprentices made redundant in various areas of the construction sector between 1 July 2009 and 31 March 2010 of further tailored opportunities for reskilling and upskilling.

These opportunities are being made available with the help of co-financing from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

Minister Cannon said: “I am pleased that the Government is in a position to offer a number of further supports to this cohort of redundant workers in addition to the training, education and apprenticeship progression measures already provided through exclusively national funding since July 2009.

“These supports are designed to help redundant construction workers to improve their employability and to increase and broaden their skill sets with a view to their reintegration into the labour market”.

The new measures include a tailored career planning course being provided by all Vocational Education Committees and access to EGF training grants for approved courses in private education and with training companies.

The notifications also highlight the wide range of courses being run by FÁS, as well as the services of the City and County Enterprise Boards for those interested in starting their own business.

Minister Cannon said: “I have established a dedicated EGF construction contact unit which will act as a central contact point and will manage and coordinate referrals centrally”.

Only persons who receive a notification will be entitled to apply for these EGF co-financed measures. These persons were included in three applications for assistance from the Fund based on redundancy payments and apprenticeships data held by FÁS. This is in line with the verification and audit requirements of the European Commission which administers the EGF across the EU.

All EGF co-financed measures under the construction programmes must be completed by 8 June 2012, in accordance with the EU Regulations governing the Fund. The Government submitted three separate applications across particular sectors of the industry, encompassing construction workers, craftspersons, apprentices and architects. Taken as a package, EU budgetary authorities are providing €35.7m of EGF funding. The Government is providing funding which brings the total amount available to just under €55m.

The Department of Education and Skills has developed a new website, www.egf.ie, which highlights these particular EGF construction programmes and provides more general information on the EGF. The launching of the website is part of a review of the EGF process in Ireland which the Minister is undertaking and this week he is initiating the public consultation phase of the review.

Minister Cannon stated that the “EGF construction programmes are further evidence of the practical solidarity being shown to redundant Irish workers by the EU. Ireland has drawn significant funding from the EGF since 2009”.