The government must commit to fund courses for workers of longer duration and Waterford could use up some of the globalisation funds that have not been used in Limerick, where monies were set aside and not drawn down.
Sean Kelly MEP this week called on the government to introduce flexibility measures into the Globalization Fund for Dell Workers. The Fine Gael representative for Ireland South will meet the incoming Commissioner in charge of the EGF, Laszlo Andor, this week “I am delighted to see that finally there is progress being made with the roll-out of courses for Dell workers”, he told The Munster Express.
But, can Waterford also benefit from such schemes if there is not a full take up from Limerick? Many formerly employed workers in Waterford are on courses but more could be available as there is huge interest in dducation. Former Waterford Crystal workers have applied for assistance under the globalisation fund. This is ongoing at present, according to Sean Kelly.
The former MEP, Colm Burke, had been pushing for this Fund for Waterford when he met with the Munster Express last year and also visited the Crystal factory when the plant had been closed. More funding is needed and appropriate courses given. We heard one former building worker recently complain that he was being offered another building course, an industry in dire straits. He eventually got onto an IT degree course.
The Waterford Institute of Technology could do with funding for extra courses. This would also help secure employment at the college and bring in more money from Brussels under globalisation funding.
However, there was a problem in relation to the timeframe for the Fund as it was only available from two years from the date of application pointed out Sean Kelly. The Government applied for the funding last summer so already one quarter of the funding period had elapsed.
“Private Colleges, as long as they are fully FETAC-approved, should be able to offer courses to the workers on equal footing with the public bodies”, he concluded. We in Waterford need to be seeking some benefit from this fund.
More effort may be needed to pursue this matter but it is vital we get extra training funds for our jobless industrial workers as Waterford has been a city hit hard by the global recession.