A Launch and Open Day showcasing supports for workers made redundant, mainly at the Andersen Ireland plant in Rathkeale under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was held in Rathkeale House Hotel on Monday.

The launch was made by the Minister for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon TD. The scheme consists of a programme of guidance, training, education and enterprise support for over three hundred people from Rathkeale and the sur-rounding areas.

The main cohort to be assisted is the workforce made redundant in Quarter 3 of 2013 from the Ander-sen 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 same region (which has suffered considerable social and economic disadvantage) who 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, 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 Depart-ment of Education and Skills put the total cost of the programme at €2.5m if all the funding is drawn down.

Among the service providers participating in the open day held in the Rathkeale House Hotel were the local enterprise and training boards, local enterprise offices, Skillnets, SOLAS, Limer-ick Institute of Technology and various private training and education bodies.

The programme is being coordinated by the SOLAS EGF coordination unit based in Raheen, and plans are in train to open a local office in the Newcastle West area for the duration of the programme.

The roll out of the adjustment fund has been welcome by local Fine Gael TD, Dan Neville.