The future is clear for ex Crystal workers

Following the closure of Waterford Crystal Ltd and the layoff of most of the workforce the European Parliament approved Ireland’s application for assistance under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for those redundant workers. The EGF fund made available encompasses over 650 workers made redundant at the Waterford Crystal Kilbarry plant and in ancillary enterprises in 2009. The EGF application is for just under €4m, of which the Government is providing almost €1.4m, with the remainder coming from the EGF.

The measures which the EGF fund can be used for include supports for retraining, up skilling, enterprise development and educational opportunities. The whole project is overseen by a steering group under the chairmanship of City Manager Michael Walsh.

Almost 250 redundant workers have availed of training places to date in disciplines as diverse as computing, warehousing, welding, forklift and HGV driving as well as external courses supported through the FÁS technical employment support grant. The aim of these supports is to better enable redundant workers to augment existing craft skills with broader or additional skillsets with a view to their accessing, or being ready to access, employment opportunities as they arise.

The Vocational Education Committees, Enterprise Ireland and the City and County Enterprise Boards are also offering a range of educational and enterprise supports to former workers in areas such Start Your Own Business, Childcare studies, Business courses and ECDL. Quite a few redundant workers have started their own businesses and receive business advice and business mentoring on a regular basis from the City & County Enterprise Boards.

Now though for the first time the training for ex Crystal workers is given by former colleagues.

Insight Training & Professional Services Ltd. is a customised training specialist, providing tailored in-company and public courses in Ireland. It also provides a wide range of consultancy services in Business, Operations, Industrial Engineering and Human Resource Management for both commercial, and not for profit organisations. The company is owned and run by former Waterford Crystal workers John Widger and Joe Kelly.

Insight Training has received full EGF funding for two training courses specifically designed for former Waterford Crystal workers.

FETAC Level 3 Employability Skills:

This course is aimed at workers who have many years practical experience but may need a recognised qualification to secure a job. This is course is suitable to blowers, cutters and general workers who may have left school at an early age. This is a practical course covering areas such as career preparation, computers, and interpersonal skills and will enable you, on completion, to show employers that you have a recognised qualification and are proactive in your job search.

FETAC Level 6 Supervisory Skills:

This course is aimed at people who may have worked in a team leader or charge hand / supervisory role or for those who wish to progress to such a role in the future. Main subject areas include managing people, employment law, and management systems. This course is of real benefit as it caters for supervisory / management roles across all employment sectors – service industry, manufacturing operations and the public service.

Both courses are being offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis, to cater for people who are currently unemployed, those in employment, or pursuing further education. Courses are scheduled to start in early May and will be run in the Waterford Crystal Social and Sports Centre.

John Widger, (PIE, BBS, MBA), began lecturing and training in 1998. Before training, John was a successful manager and has a wide range of experience in Project Management, Engineering and Marketing. John explains his training style, “I bring practical experience to my training, and would be known for my flexible, ‘coaching style’ training, it’s designed to give both knowledge and genuine experience. Learning is a two way process and people learn by doing.”

Joe Kelly (MBA, PIE, BBS, Dip. Social Science, Dip. Managing Diversity) is an experienced trainer having spent nine years in the training department of a major company. Joe has also lectured in a number of colleges around the country over the years and is the National Examiner for the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Joe is delighted to have something to offer ex Crystal workers, “I’m also a firm believer in the ‘learn by doing’ principle and uses this method of teaching as a key support to enhanced learning, encouragement and involvement of participants.”

They focus on building long term partnerships with their clients by taking time to understand their specific needs and develop customised courses and solutions to ensure these needs are met.

For more information on these fully funded courses just contact Joe Kelly or John Widger 051 – 354855, or email them on