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EU Funding.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Questions (96)

Mary Wallace


95 Deputy Mary Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the position and timeframe regarding the European globalisation fund for the former workers at a company (details supplied) when some of these workers who are nearly a year unemployed have started or are hoping to start third level courses and the funding from the European globalisation fund has not been released; if funding will be made available to these persons to enable them to start or continue their training and education while funding from the EGF is being finalised; the length of time that the globalisation fund will be available, that is, from the date it was applied for or from the date the fund becomes available or is sanctioned. [12161/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

I refer to the answer to Questions Nos. 53 and 108 of 8 March 2010. The EGF application process from initiation to final decision is a lengthy procedure involving not just the European Commission but also the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. In the case of the EGF application in relation to redundant workers at the DELL plant in Co. Limerick the approval process took some six months. Strict eligibility criteria apply and there is no guarantee of success if a sustainable case for EGF assistance cannot be made in support of a Member State's application. My Department is seeking to ensure that such a robust case is made and sustained. In this context Department officials are currently preparing a response to a request from the European Commission for further information in relation to the SR Technics application and it is hoped to complete this process in the next couple of weeks.

In the interim State agencies such as FÁS and Enterprise Ireland have made, and continue to make, the full range of their employment, training, guidance and advisory services available to all workers made redundant at SR Technics. Furthermore, with a view to ascertaining those interventions, including in further and third level education, that redundant SR Technics workers might avail of in the event of a successful EGF application being made, an information event was held by a wide range of service providers in Dublin Airport in December 2009. I know that the full range of education programmes provided by the VEC and third level sector are also available to redundant SR Technics workers and that the education sector is also working to develop additional upskilling responses in anticipation of the approval of the EGF application. However, while every effort is being made to ensure such programmes can proceed as soon as possible, the further progression of any interventions to be funded specifically by the EGF must await the completion of the EGF application process.

In relation to the length of time that EGF funding is available the timeframe permitted for eligible expenditure under the Fund is 24 months from the date of submission of an application, or from the date of commencement of relevant measures provided this is no later than 3 months after the application's submission.