Minister English welcomes EU approval of tenth Irish EGF programme – targeting former PWA International workers

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, T.D. today welcomed the EU budgetary authority’s approval of the Irish application under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to assist 108 former workers of the closed aircraft maintenance facility of PWA International in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin and a similar number of young persons under the age of 25 years not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

He said “This is the tenth successful EGF application made by the Irish authorities since 2009. To date, some ten thousand redundant workers have been assisted through the Fund. This is a clear and tangible instrument of EU solidarity which allows approved programmes of guidance, training, education and enterprise supports to be delivered to eligible workers who have lost their jobs through adverse globalisation impacts”.

Approving this programme, the EU will contribute 60% or €442,293 towards programme expenditure on support measures aimed at re-integrating the PWA International workforce and a similar number of NEETs into sustainable employment.  This will be the third successive Irish EGF programme which avails of the special arrangements introduced until the end of 2017, whereby Member States can assist young people not in employment, education or training residing in regions eligible under the Youth Employment Initiative up to a number equal to the redundant workers supported.  

The Irish authorities will fund the remaining 40% of the programme. National funding is currently being provided for services through the budgets of providers such as SOLAS, Education and Training Boards, Local Enterprise Offices, Higher Education Institutes and the Department of Social Protection together with a measure of funding from the National Training Fund.

The programme will run until 19th June 2017 and provides for a package of measures to assist the 216 targeted beneficiaries at an estimated cost of €737,156. This is the smallest EGF programme submitted for co-funding support by Ireland to date and amongst the smallest ever across the EU. The PWA International application was accepted by the EU authorities despite its modest scale as an exceptional circumstance in the context of the previous mass redundancies at S R Technics and Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland. These companies, too, operated in the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul sector and the closure of their plants in 2009 and 2014 respectively saw a loss of some 1,500 jobs, many of them highly skilled in the Dublin and eastern region.

The local EGF Coordination Unit office established by SOLAS and located in Tallaght will coordinate EGF programme supports and supports have been provided to workers from PWAI International since earlier this year in anticipation of subsequent EU approval.  The Consultative Forum established to assist in the implementation of the LTAI programme will be utilised to support this Programme and Minister English noted that his officials would liaise with the EGF Coordination Unit and other partners to maximise engagement with the programme.