Limerick base of Dell

Former Dell workers in Limerick have failed to take advantage of a scheme to retrain them after they were made redundant by the American computer giant.

A $35million fund was established to assist workers find new skills after Dell withdraw from Limerick and moved operations to Poland.

The deadline for the European Globalization Fund passed this week and just over half of the money available was drawn down.

Up to $14million will be returned unspent to the EGF after less than 2,000 people fully availed of the grant aid.

The Irish Independent has reported that 2,400 workers applied for grant assistance after the Dell plant closed down but just 1,700 former workers benefitted from the scheme.

Those who did receive funding returned to education or took up training courses with the Irish government’s FAS scheme.

A source told the Independent: “People did not want to utilize it. They thought they could get a cheque or cash and go off and do what they liked with it. That was simply not the case.”

Representatives from the Dell Redundant Workers’ Association claimed to the paper that there were ‘problems with the fund from the first day it was set up and said it was hindered by red tape’.

Chairman Paul O’Connor told the paper that there was a lengthy delay in putting the resources in place.

The scheme was funded by the Irish government and the European parliament and the unspent monies will be refunded proportionally.