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Thursday 23 March 2017

EU fund to help upskill redundant apprentices

John Walshe Education Editor

UP to 8,600 redundant apprentices and jobless craft workers will benefit from a major upskilling initiative largely financed by the EU.

Tanaiste and Education Minister Mary Coughlan has lodged an application for the single biggest amount yet sought by any country from the European Globalisation Fund (EGF), the Irish Independent has learned.

Sources said the Government was hopeful of getting just over €40m from Europe, which would be topped up by a further €22m from the Exchequer.

The fund was set up in 2007 to support workers who lose their jobs as a result of changing global trade patterns.

A maximum of €500m per year is available to finance interventions such as retraining, guidance and the promotion of entrepreneurship. So far, the full annual amount has never been drawn down by member countries.

Since it was set up, there have been 57 applications to the EGF for assistance across the EU, seeking a total of almost €275m. To date, 29 applications have been approved.

The money will be spent on courses and programmes run by FAS, VECs, third-level institutions and other providers.

Irish Independent

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