Jobless construction workers to be granted EU aid – Ó Domhnaill

Senator Ó Domhnaill calls for details of how funding will be allocated


Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has welcomed the decision by the European Commission to allocate €51 million in aid for retraining Irish construction workers who have been made redundant. The Fianna Fáil Senator has called on the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton to clarify details of how the funding will be allocated and when the beneficiaries will receive it.

The move follows a campaign lead by Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP and the two other North West MEPs Marian Harkin and Jim Higgins. The previous Fianna Fáil Government submitted applications the European Globalisation Fund for financial support for nearly 6,000 Irish construction workers who are now out of work. The European Commission has approved the move and it is expected to pass through the European Parliament shortly.

Senator Ó Domhnaill explained: “A total of €51 million will be provided to retrain and up-skill the 6,000 workers most affected by the collapse of the construction sector. Most of them were employed by smaller firms that were forced to close or down-size during the down-turn. The previous Government made successful submission to Europe explaining why these workers are in need of support and how this funding will help tackle the unemployment problem in the sector.

“The EU will provide €33 million and Ireland will add €18 million. The package of measures will include training programmes and training allowances, second and third level education programmes, redundant apprentices training programmes, and self-employment supports.

“The aid will be provided directly to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. I am calling on the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton to outline details of how exactly the funding will be allocated, how and when the beneficiaries will be contacted and when they will receive support. Given the delays and problems experienced by Dell workers in Limerick who were awarded aid under the same EU scheme, it is important set a firm timeline for when unemployed construction workers can access this aid.

“It is crucial that every effort is made to ensure to equip these workers for future employment opportunities. The decision in Europe will help provide crucial assistance to former construction workers in Donegal and across the country who need support to get back to the workplace.”

Posted: Oct 6, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized