There is welcome news for Rathkeale with con-firmation that the offices to provide support for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) will be located in the town.

The offices will be in the building directly behind the Andersen facility. Having the offices located in Rathkeale will obviously result in many spin-off benefits for businesses in Rathkeale. The scheme consists of a programme of guidance, training, education and enterprise support for over 300 people from Rathkeale and the surrounding areas.

The main cohort to be assisted is the workforce made redundant in the third quarter of 2013 from the Andersen Ireland Ltd jewellery manufacturing plant in Rathkeale, of whom almost 70% are female. The remaining cohort is made up of young people under the age of 25 in the region, which has suffered considerable social and economic disadvantage and are not currently in education training or employment.

The latest EGF Fund will run until 16th May 2016 and will include a wide ranging programme of occupational and career guidance, public and privately sourced training, including EGF training grants, second and third level education courses, and a contribution scheme to assist with the cost of participation in training and education and enterprise supports for those seeking to set up their own business. Initial estimates by the Department of Education and Skills for the total cost of the programme are €2.5million, should all of the funding be drawn down.

Welcoming the announ-cement, local T.D. Dan Neville stated: “This is obviously a thumbs-up for Rathkeale and on behalf of the people in Rathkeale. I wish to thank all those involved with the EGF Unit and the managing authority within the Department of Education and Skills who confirmed that the offices will be situated in Rathkeale.”