Ireland's north and west MEPs have warmly welcomed the decision by the European Commission to allocate €51 million of EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF ) aid for retraining laid-off Irish construction industry workers.
Having initiated the push to apply for EGF funding in the first instance, Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP, Marian Harkin MEP and Jim Higgins MEP said: “We are very pleased that our efforts have borne fruit and that this funding will now be available to retrain and upskill construction industry workers adversely affected by the slump in their sector.”
They noted that it is now “imperative that every effort is made to ensure that the best possible opportunities are identified to equip workers for future employment opportunities”.
The north and west MEPs also hailed the announcement as “clearly proving the value of MEPs working closely together in the interest of Irish citizens, collaborating proactively with the government of the day to maximise Ireland's ability to avail of vital European Union resources”.
The three applications on behalf of 5,987 Irish construction industry workers will total €51 million, of which the EU will provide 33 million and Ireland 18 million. The package of measures will include training programmes and training allowances, second and third level education programmes and supports, and redundant apprentices training programmes and supports.
The decision is subject to the approval of the European Parliament and the three north west MEPs are confident it will be approved.