Question to the Minister of State at the Department for Education and Skills (Mr Ciarán Cannon, TD)
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the benefits he envisages of the application to the European Commission for co-funding support for a programme of guidance, training, education and enterprise supports; when a decision is expected; if in the interim the initiative showcasing supports for persons seeking work will be available to persons in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th July, 2014.
An application for EU co-funding under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in support of 171 workers made redundant at the Andersen Ireland jewellery manufacturing plant in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick and for up to a similar number of targeted young persons under 25 years not in employment, education or training, was made by my Department on 16 May 2014.
Approval of this application under the co-decision procedure by the institutions of the EU, Commission, Council and Parliament, will take some considerable time based on experience of previous applications and the fact that European Parliament elections took place recently. In the interim, and in anticipation of EU approval in due course of the Irish application, relevant supports are being provided by a range of local service providers in the areas of guidance, training, education and enterprise supports. These supports are being funded solely from national sources currently. All supports are being co-ordinated at local level by the SOLAS EGF Coordination Unit which will shortly open an office in Rathkeale and which is currently operating from Raheen, Co. Limerick. The benefit of these supports is to increase the employability of the persons in question and to demonstrate solidarity and reintegrate them as soon as possible into the labour force.
The Department of Social Protection is currently putting together a verified list of young persons under 25 years in the first instance in the West Limerick area who are not in employment, education or training for potential inclusion in any subsequently approved EGF programme. A number of these persons have been contacted by the EGF Coordination Unit. This is the first time such an approach has been possible under the EGF and the Irish application is understood to be one of the first to undertake such an approach across the EU. The outcomes, providing the application is ultimately approved by the EU, will be closely monitored by my Department.