EU approves €22.8m aid package for Dell workers

21 Sep 2009

It emerged over the weekend that the European Commission has approved Ireland’s application for aid under the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) to support the 1,900 Dell workers in Limerick who are to be made redundant later this year.

The funding will assist redundant workers to be retrained as well as workers from ancillary enterprises across the mid-west that will also be affected by the Raheen plant closure.

The commission has approved the Irish application for €22.8m, of which the EU will contribute €14.8m and the Government €8m, to retrain, upskill and offer further educational opportunities to up to 2,400 affected workers.

EGF funding will allow the Government to roll out a range of additional measures to assist affected workers with FÁS, Enterprise Ireland and CEBs, the local VECs and third-level institutions in Limerick and the region.

These will include tailored personalised supports in terms of occupational guidance, job search assistance, training courses, start your own business and entrepreneurship advice and support and accelerated routes into further and third-level education.

Ireland’s application is amongst the largest ever approved under the EGF both in terms of financial aid and the number of workers being assisted.

“The Government has co-operated closely with the commission and submitted a considered and detailed case seeking EGF assistance for a suite of measures to assist the workers at Dell and in related companies in the mid-west region who have lost their jobs since the start of the year,” said the Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary TD.

“This decision is hugely positive for the Dell workers affected, for Limerick and the mid-west region and for Ireland. It again highlights the significant benefits of our EU membership and the solidarity shown by the union with redundant workers in member states affected by the ongoing global economic and financial crisis,” Calleary added.

By John Kennedy

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