300 out of 1,900 former Dell workers received FAS training

16 Apr 2010

The Steering Committee responsible for advising on the implementation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the 1,900 former Dell workers in Limerick has revealed that 300 have received FAS training so far.

Earlier last year, Limerick woke to the news that 1,900 people were to be made redundant at the operation which, with an output of €8bn a year, was considered Dell’s most productive plant on the planet.

But there’s some good news for the beleaguered city. Last week, it emerged that Dell is recruiting again for 100 jobs at its plants in Cherrywood, Co Dublin, and in Limerick.

The Steering Committee set up to rehabilitate the 1,900 former Dell workers and workers at ancillary enterprises made redundant last year met yesterday to discuss progress.

The committee includes a number of former workers from Dell and the other companies, as well as representatives and stakeholders from industry, the educational and entrepreneurial support sectors and relevant State agencies. and is chaired by Oliver Egan, assistant director general in FAS.

Another meeting is scheduled for towards the end of this month.

The Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary TD, commented: “There is a lot which has been done already and is being done with EGF support in the mid-west and which is perhaps only now starting to become visible”.

Progress to date for EGF clients

In relation to concrete measures the Minister highlighted:

• The guidance service FAS provided to more than 1,900 former workers to date with some 300 persons receiving training in 2009;

• That in the first quarter of 2010, training and educational activity has increased with more than 200 EGF clients currently enrolled in evening classes;

• That more than 250 EGF clients are registered with the Limerick City Adult Education Service;

• That both Limerick Institute of Technology and University of Limerick have implemented a broad range of educational programmes for EGF clients;

• That course provision with private training and educational providers is being funded through a tailored EGF training support grant administered by FAS, with more than 150 clients having availed of this particular support to date;

• The launch by FAS of a community-based initiative for more than 100 EGF clients;

• That some 225 clients are registered with the City and County Enterprise Boards and are undertaking start-your-own-business programmes;

• The commencement of a dedicated EGF internship programme in partnership with the medical devices sector which will see more than 80 clients attending a series of workshops in April with successful candidates progressing into the full internship programme in June 2010.

Calleary stressed: “The work of the Steering Committee and the contribution of the former workers’ representatives in that forum is very important in ensuring this momentum is continued.”

He said the relationship built up between the FAS EGF Coordination Unit and eligible participants for EGF support and with the Dell Redundant Workers Association was key to the driving forward of the programme of measures.

“There is very good work being done on all sides which I am confident will continue and grow. I have committed to reviewing the overall programme in June to ensure that we are maximising the reach of the programme and to identify any additional or innovative measures that might be further considered,” Calleary said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Dell recently announced it is recruiting again for 100 jobs at its plants in Cherrywood, Co Dublin, and in Limerick

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years