Fund secured for redundant workers
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
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
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.