But Fás has drawn up what it believes is a very innovative project with the medical devices sector.
Fás regional manager, Mary Donnelly said the agency is now ready to roll out a new programme whereby participants will be able to embark on internships with various medical devices companies.
“To date we have 87 people expressing interest in this programme and we are now finishing a series of two-day workshops,” she said.
“This will be an introductory for people who have never worked in the medical sector before. This is a very controlled and regulated work environment and from these worships we hope to pick 20 who will go on the first medical devices course which will commence in June.”
Ms Donnelly said they were working in cooperation with companies such as Cook, Striker and others in the medical devices sector.
“We met with the employers first to get their input into the programme and the content and organisation. At a certain point, when training is completed, they will go into these companies for about 36 weeks. After that, we would hope they will be very well placed to get a job there.
“This is a method of people who previously worked in manufacturing to be able to make the move across into another very different sector and we think this has great growth potential,” he said.
Ms Donnelly said the EGF has given the mid-west a huge advantage in helping people who have lost their jobs. “It is an injection of a resource into the mid-west over and above what we would normally get from the government to deal with the labour market and to deal with unemployed people.
“We have a very high level of unemployment in the region, with around 38,000 unemployed.
“The Dell-related losses make up only 7% of that. So the fact that this money is coming in, ring-fenced for Dell (workers) and downstream workers, means that the normal budgets coming down will be deployed fully for the rest of the population.”