Limerick JobFit centre faces closure over cuts

A PILOT initiative which has helped more than 30 people to find employment over the past year is facing closure next month due to a cut in Government funding.

A PILOT initiative which has helped more than 30 people to find employment over the past year is facing closure next month due to a cut in Government funding.

Since last summer, more than 200 people from across Limerick have received training at the JobFit centre in Moyross and more than 170 people are currently on a waiting list to access the programme.

The JobFit initiative, which is funded through the Labour Market Activation Fund, targets people who have been unemployed for at least three months.

Over 13 weeks, participants receive IT training and are taught how to prepare a CV and basic interview techniques.

Eugene O'Shaughnessy, 54, from Ballysimon Road, who was made redundant last year, says he has benefited from the course.

"I started here last November and it has been great and it has been very beneficial and very educational. This place should never close down. It is of great benefit to people like myself who are unemployed and who never went for an interview in our lives," he said.

Sandra Howard, 43, from Garryowen who worked as a childcare worker has been out of work for over a year. "The centre has been brilliant and it is disappointing and sad that it is closing. It shouldn't be done away with at all," she told the Limerick Chronicle

Fine Gael general election candidate Kieran O'Donnell says, if elected, he will do everything he can to keep the centre from closing on March 31 next.

"The centre provide value for money and the key focus is to get people back into the work force and the fact is that this model works and it is something that should be continued. It is something that Fine Gael, in Government, will promote because these centres are putting people back to work," he said.

There are seven people directly employed at the JobFit centre in Moyross.