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Fund secured for redundant workers 12.12.13

by Jessie Magee

EU aid for people who have lost their jobs through the effects of globalisation is to be maintained for another seven years, thanks to the efforts of North and West MEP Marian Harkin.
The Independent representative spearheaded a campaign to retain the European Globalisation Fund until 2020, although the amount of money available will be cut from €3 billion to just over €100 million. However, Ms Harkin added a new clause enabling the fund to be available to a broader range of workers, including temporary agency workers and the self-employed. Another new aspect is that member states will be allowed to apply for funding for young unemployed people, in regions with high youth unemployment.
Speaking after her report won the support of a large majority at the European Parliament, Ms Harkin said she was pleased to have played a leading role in ensuring the continuation of the fund.
“It's not a panacea for all our ills, but at least it's an opportunity to help workers retrain, upskill or start their own businesses,” she said.
Ireland has made seven successful applications to the fund, including Dell, Waterford Glass, SR Technics and Talk Talk, accessing a total of over €67 million. Workers who benefited got average amounts of aid ranging between €2,500 and €9,000 each.
North and West MEP Marian Harkin.
The funding can be triggered where there are 500 or more redundancies in a given sector over a nine-month period. However that threshold is not required if it's established that job losses have had a significant adverse affect on employment in a specific area.
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