EGF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)?
The EGF was established by the European Union (EU) in 2006 to enable EU Member States to provide programmes of assistance to workers who were made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation. Globalisation can usually be demonstrated by an increase in imports into the EU for a given sector or the loss in EU market share for a given sector or by delocalisation of work activity to non-EU countries. Under certain circumstances, redundancies as a result of a global economic and financial crisis, may also qualify for support from the EGF.
In general, EGF support may be provided in the event of at least 500 redundancies at either a given enterprise over a 4-month reference period or in a specific economic sector over a 9-month reference period.
What does the EGF do?
The EGF provides a co-financing contribution to EU Member States to provide a personalized package of programmes and services to workers to help them return to employment. Programmes may include career advice and guidance, training courses, further and higher education programmes and enterprise/start your own business supports. Supports may be provided through both normal mainstream programmes and new customized programmes. EGF training grants may be available in respect of accredited education or training courses of a duration of 10 weeks or more. The EU currently contributes up to 60% of the cost of an approved EGF programme with the remaining 40% paid by national funding sources.
How does the EGF work? Can an individual or company apply for assistance from the EGF?
Individuals and companies cannot apply directly for financial assistance from the EGF. Applications for funding can only be made by the designated Competent Authority in an EU Member State. In Ireland, the responsible authority is the EGF Managing Authority in the Department of Education and Skills.
The EGF Managing Authority in the Department of Education and Skills closely monitors mass redundancy announcements nationwide with a view to submitting applications for EGF support where deemed sustainable.
Having assessed conformity with the relevant EU legislation and obtained the approval of the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation to proceed, the EGF Managing Authority having duly consulted with relevant stakeholders and collated the relevant supporting data required, may submit an application for co-funding support from the EGF to the European Commission.
The European Commission assesses the EGF application, seeking clarification as required, and if satisfied submits the application to the European Parliament and European Council for approval. The whole process between EGF application submission and approval takes several months.
EGF programmes are implemented over a period of 24 months from the date of submission of the EGF application. An EGF final report and expenditure statements showing programme results and outcomes is then submitted within a further 6 months by the EGF Managing Authority to the European Commission.
Who is eligible for support from EGF?
Only those individuals included in a successful application for EGF support submitted by the Department of Education and Skills can avail of support under an EGF programme. Such eligible individuals include:
- Affected workers at the main enterprise
- Affected workers at suppliers to the main enterprise
- In certain circumstances, Persons Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs) who have been identified by the Department of Social Protection.
Eligible individuals are notified of their eligibility by the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit.
I was made redundant recently, how can I apply?
Only those individuals included in a successful application for EGF support submitted by the Department of Education and Skills can avail of support. Such eligible individuals are notified of their eligibility by the EGF Coordination Unit at the start of an EGF programme.
What EGF programmes are running at present (June 2015):
EGF programmes in operation at June 2015 were:
- Andersen Ireland in respect of 171 Affected Workers and 138 NEET persons, which runs from 21 October 2013 to 16 May 2016
- Lufthansa Technik in respect of 424 Affected Workers and 250 NEET persons, which runs from 7 December 2013 to 19 September 2016.
How can I check if I am eligible for assistance from the EGF?
The SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit has already written to eligible Affected Workers and NEETS under both current programmes. If you worked in any of the companies included in a successful EGF application but have not received a notification letter, you can contact the Unit on 087-2465486.
What can the EGF do for me?
In Ireland, the EGF normally co-funds a range of measures within approved programmes including:
- career guidance and job search supports such as CV and interview preparation
- training courses
- further education courses
- higher education courses
- EGF training grants – flexible accredited training or educational programmes provided by accredited often private sector companies.
- Enterprise/Start your own Business supports
- Course expense contributions (to facilitate participation on education and training courses)
What education or training courses can I do?
Accredited training or educational courses which will improve your employment and career prospects are eligible. However, hobby type courses are not permitted; the EGF Regulation requires that courses in particular stimulate disadvantaged, older and young unemployed persons to remain in or return to the labour market. If in any doubt as to your course choice, please contact the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit on 087 6930894 or 087 9258630.
For how long can I receive assistance from the EGF?
Under the EGF Regulation, approved EGF programmes may generally only be implemented for a period of 24 months from the date of submission of the EGF. Eligible EGF persons will thus only be able to avail of EGF programmes services during the approved implementation periods. The maximum implementation periods for programmes open at June 2015 are as follows:
- Andersen Ireland – 21 October 2013 to 16 May 2016
- Lufthansa Technik – 7 December 2013 to 19 September 2016.
Funding will not be provided for course delivery costs after the expiry of the EGF implementation period other than in conformity with relevant EU regulatory criteria. The possibility to be funded for up to an additional six months in certain prescribed circumstances will be assessed by the EGF Managing Authority on a case by case basis.
In all other cases, where an eligible clients pays fees in advance in respect of a long-duration education or training programme which commences before and finishes after the end of the implementation period, apportioned fee costs only may be eligible for EGF co-funding.
Can I keep my social welfare entitlements if I attend a course funded by the EGF?
In most cases, yes. To keep your welfare entitlements while attending an EGF supported education or training course you will need approval from your local Intreo or Department of Social Protection Local Office (http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/List-of-Social-Welfare-Local-and-Branch-Offices-by-County.aspx). The SOLAS EGF National Unit contactable at 087-2465486 may also be of assistance in this matter.
Will I be paid a specific EGF training allowance?
No. There is no EGF-specific training allowance payable as such. However, various existing allowances such as the SOLAS (ETB?) Training Allowance, ETB (VTOS) allowances and the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) may apply if you meet qualifying conditions.
I would like to avail of educational or training supports but I live miles from the nearest college / training centre and have children to look after. How am I supposed to fund the travel and childcare costs entailed in attending classes?
An EGF Course Expenses Contribution (CEC) is available which provides a contribution towards necessary costs incurred in attending education or training courses which are accredited on the National Framework of Qualifications or by an industry awarding body/industry standard. This is an innovative measure specific to EGF programmes which helps to defray certain costs – travel, subsistence, course equipment and materials – which were identified by beneficiaries as obstacles to greater participation in EGF co-financed training and education courses. The CEC is subject to certain financial limits and proof of course attendance will be required by the administering body, the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit. Enquiries on the course expenses contribution, eligibility and claims should be made to the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit on 087-2465486.
I have no idea of how I am going to get a job since there is no work available for my occupation or in my local area. Who can I talk to for advice?
Your local Education and Training Board (ETB –http://www.etbi.ie/etbs/directory-of-etbs/) offers a guidance service that may help you decide on a route back into work. Your local Intreo office or the employment services of the Department of Social Protection will also be of assistance (http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/List-of-Social-Welfare-Local-and-Branch-Offices-by-County.aspx). The SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit also provides a guidance and information service and referral of beneficiaries to relevant service providers.
I have completed, or I am currently on, a training course for which I have paid the course fees. Can I be reimbursed for the fees I paid?
The cost of an approved course leading to a recognised qualification delivered after your redundancy date and before the end of the EGF programme implementation period (see above) for the relevant EGF programme may be eligible for reimbursement. In such a case you should complete an EGF Training Grant Reimbursement Form which is available to download at: (http://egf.ie/egf-programmes/open-programmes/lufthansa-technik-airmotive-ireland/download-egf-lufthansa-technik-airmotive-ireland-forms/).
EGF Course Expenses Contributions may also be allowed for such courses subject to certain requirements. Enquiries on EGF eligibility, EGF training grants, the EGF Course Expenses Contribution scheme and on making claims should be made to the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit on 087-2465486.
Who is coordinating the services being provided under the EGF application?
The coordination of relevant services under the EGF application is being provided by the SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit which has played a key role in several completed EGF programmes to date. In addition, the Unit offers an initial guidance and career advice service to EGF eligible persons as well as referral to service providers. The SOLAS EGF National Coordination Unit (087-2465486) has established local offices in the areas which are subject to current EGF applications as follows:
Andersen Ireland EGF
SOLAS EGF Coordination Unit
Riverside Business Park
Lufthansa Technik EGF
SOLAS EGF Coordination Unit
Dublin Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board
Tallaght Training Centre
Cookstown Industrial Estate
Where can I find further information on the EGF: