THE European Commission has approved a €7.4 million grant for the retraining of 850 Dublin-based former aircraft staff.
The Government had applied to the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund for assistance for 1,135 former SR Technics employees, who were made redundant last year.
The Commission said the application will now be sent to the European Parliament and EU ministers for approval.
“The fall in air transport activity following the financial and economic crisis has placed enormous cost strain on airlines and subsequently reduced the volume of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities worldwide,” said László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. “This put enormous pressure on companies operating in the aircraft maintenance sector, such as SR Technics. We are confident that the planned measures will help these workers to upgrade their skills and facilitate their transition to a new job with a better future.”
The Commission acknowledged that while no redundancies directly linked to SR Technics had been reported at suppliers or “downstream producers”, “the loss in revenues due to the redundancies in SR Technics is expected to generate significant losses in indirect employment caused by loss in workers’ incomes and a reduction in SR Technics purchases of goods and services locally and regionally”.
The Commission said the package of EGF assistance would help 850 of the most disadvantaged workers back into employment by offering them guidance and training, on and off-the-job training, third-level education and promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment.
“The total estimated cost of the package is almost €11.5 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of €7.4 million,” it said.
Sean Haughey, Minister for Lifelong Learning and the local TD for many of the affected workers, said the money from Europe would be used to bolster the training currently being given to former workers by Fás, VECs and third-level institutions.
To date, the Government has made four applications to the EU adjustment fund in respect of Dell, Waterford Crystal, SR Technics and the construction industry.
While the first three were all approved, the construction industry application, which is for €40m in funding for a training programme for 8,800 people, has still not been decided.
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