Sunday 17 December 2017

Schemes no use to me, says ex-factory worker

Barry Duggan

Tommy Kelly at home in Patrickswell, Co Limerick, with wife Sorcha and daughters Abby and Chloe. SeAn Curtin

TOMMY Kelly's second child had just been born when he found out he was being left go by a Dell subsidiary company -- Irish Express Cargo -- at the turn of 2008/09.

Two and a half years later, Tommy (39) has only managed to secure part-time security work and is trying to stretch the two or three days' pay as far as possible for his wife Sorcha (36) and daughters Abby (4) and Chloe (2).

"I am only at the security since last September and am just hoping that I can get full-time work soon. After Dell closed, I sent out 250 CVs and only got three or four replies."

Plans for home retrofitting schemes and school building projects as part of the Government's job initiative offer little prospect for Tommy.

"That isn't of much use to the likes of me or anyone who worked in factory industries. We are not skilled for that -- they are trade jobs. God knows the construction lads need all the work they can get, too, but that is only one sector," Tommy said.

"I went away and trained to get a security licence and I'm just working part-time. If I wanted to go down the construction route with the jobs scheme, I would have to go away and retrain again. I can't do that."

Living in Patrickswell, Co Limerick, Tommy also has to pay a mortgage and car loan. Sorcha works 14 hours a week for a bread company while Abby attends playschool and Chloe is cared for by her grandmother.

"It is impossible to save for our girls. At one stage when I was out of work, we were on €206 a week.

"The Government is trying to get the dole queues down as much as they can. Whether that is through emigration or people going back to college, they don't care. It is all about lowering statistics," he said.

Irish Independent

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