Under the terms associated with the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), it is not envisaged that in general any monies from the fund will be paid directly to former Dell workers. Therefore, the social welfare entitlements of the former workers will not be affected as no money will be directly received.
Instead funding is being channelled through the relevant State agencies and educational institutions to deliver the required supports to eligible redundant workers. Workers who were made statutorily redundant from Dell may retain their Jobseeker payments while attending education or training courses under the terms of the Back to Education (BTEA) schemes operated by the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
BTEA participants attending an approved full-time course can keep their Jobseeker payments for the duration of that course (which may be a number of years). Those who participate in an approved part-time course can receive welfare support for as long as they would ordinarily be entitled to a Jobseeker payment (9-12 months in the case of those on Jobseeker's Benefit, or longer for those who qualify for the means-tested Jobseeker's Allowance). These provisions equally apply to workers studying HETAC or FETAC accredited third level courses at private colleges.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment is the responsible authority for making EGF applications and drawing down EU funding. That Department is also working with FÁS to make a range of programmes available to the former Dell employees. The package of programmes is currently being finalised.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund exists to support workers who lose their jobs as a result of changing global trade patterns or the global economic and financial crisis so that they can be prepared to find another job as quickly as possible.
An application was made by Ireland, and recently approved by EU, in the context of the Dell redundancies in Raheen, Co. Limerick. It is estimated that up to 2,900 workers are involved when qualifying downstream companies affected by this closure are included and a combined total of €22.8 million is available, between EU and Government funding, to provide complementary retraining, upskilling, entrepreneurial supports and educational opportunities for the relevant workers. The allocated funding will be available for spending until September 2011.
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