70% of sacked staff found work with aid of fund

A SPECIAL EU fund for redundant workers – from which former Dell workers in Limerick have sought financial support – proved a major success last year with nearly seven out of 10 recipients finding a new job within the space of 12 months.

A report has revealed that 69% of workers helped by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in 2008 found employment within a relatively short period after losing their jobs.

The findings will come as a boost to the 1,900 workers who have been made redundant since Dell announced the transfer of its production facilities from Limerick to Poland last January.

According to the report, 10,000 employees who lost their job as a result of globalisation, were helped by the EGF last year. More than €49 million was granted during 2008 to workers in eight companies in five EU countries out of a total available budget of €500m.

The EGF is open to all redundancies involving more than 1,000 staff dismissed as a result of globalisation with the relative member state obliged to match the funding on a 50-50 basis.

However, the EU has proposed reducing the limit because of the low uptake of the fund by EU countries and will only require the Irish government to put up 35% of the total funding.

Funding is used to co-finance active labour market policy measures such as job-search allowances and training and employment incentives. The report on the implementation of the funding showed that many were staff who had formerly worked in the manufacture of cars and mobile phones.

It said the EGF had allowed governments to prepare a more effective package of measures to benefit redundant workers, including more one-to-one guidance and counselling.

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