And he has warned that EU officials will “not be pleased” by the way the money is being managed.
Mr Kelly is particularly angry that some ex-Dell workers have also been excluded from accessing the fund – as they had already found alternative employment. But his main concern was that flexibility in the use of the funds was not being fully utilised.
He said: “The EU employment commissioner Mr [Laszlo] Andor and the employment committee for the European Parliament will visit Limerick shortly to see how the fund is being used – and I can tell you they won’t be pleased at what is going on.
“They won’t be impressed that the money is not being deployed to its maximum effect and that much of it will be going back to Brussels, probably unspent, after the two-year cut-off in 2011.”
Tipperary-based Mr Kelly, who is honorary president of the Dell Workers Association, said: “Progress is very slow and Fás have even said that a lot of the money will be going back unspent.
“From the Irish Government’s perspective, there seems to be nobody taking charge of the decisions on the use of the fund.”
Mr Kelly said he had recently discovered that workers who qualify for the fund and who have found work cannot take up courses with the aid of the EGF.
“This is just crazy. People who have got work are being penalised.
“They should not be deprived of the opportunity to improve their skills by taking up a night course with the help of the EGF,” he said.
The Labour MEP said people wishing to set up their own businesses are being subjected to unreasonable criteria by the enterprise boards. “The enterprise boards should show more flexibility. Money which could be used to help start up new enterprises is not being given out,” he said.
“It is high time Minister for Labour Dara Calleary got more involved to get the fund moving.
“They haven’t yet produced a significant job placement programme. It is a disgrace that money the EU has given us is not going to be utilised.
“David Smith [EGF manager] and the EGF coordination committee are not to blame but they are not getting any support from many of the Government agencies,” the MEP said.