Minister of State at the Departments of Justice and Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D., today presented training certificates to staff of the Community Based Organisation, Energy Action at St Gabriel’s Court, Clontarf, Dublin. Energy Action recently completed the insulation of the Dublin City Council senior citizens complex in Clontarf under the National Retrofit Programme. Minister O’Riordain presented certificates to over thirty Energy Action staff, most of them on Community Employment Scheme, for courses successfully completed in energy insulation and related subjects.
Minister O’Riordain said: “I commend Energy Action for its long and successful service to the community and its impressive progression rate to full-time employment for those on the Community Employment Scheme. It is essential that job seekers, and especially the long-term unemployed, have access to relevant training so they have the best chance of finding new jobs. The practical training being delivered by Energy Action and other similar Community Based Organisations is a good example of this. It is important that long term unemployed people have the opportunity to practice their skills in a work setting that will help them to transition back into the full time workforce. This is consistent with the Government’s job creation initiative, Action Plan for Jobs which, together with the Pathways to Work and Skills to Work strategies, has helped reduce the unemployment rate from the crisis peak of 15.1% to 10.6%. Indeed, exploring the potential for developing smaller-scale employment initiatives within the local community is a feature of the Action Plan for Jobs”.
Minister O’Riordain noted that the Green Economy has the potential to make a significant contribution to sustainable employment. Investment in energy efficiency measures to support jobs in local economies is a priority in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. He highlighted the value of the Better Energy Warmer Homes Programme that is being administered by the SEAI whereby home insulation is delivered free of charge to low income families. The scheme is delivered through a range of Community Based Organisations augmented by a panel of private contractors. He also referred to the Energy Efficiency Insulation/Retrofitting Programme being delivered by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. This is part of a three year jobs stimulus programme that will see the energy efficiency of 25,000 of the poorest insulated local authority homes improved, resulting in warmer homes and creating around 1,000 jobs in the construction sector.
In conclusion, Energy Action CEO Charles Roarty said: “The continued funding and roll-out of Retrofitting Programmes is a good long-term mechanism for creating local employment throughout the country. There is the potential, with training, to employ those that would otherwise be long-term unemployed. Many of these jobs can stimulate the social economy, thereby regenerating local economies and improving the quality of life of local communities. Energy efficiency programmes and measures will also have a major impact in reducing greenhouse gas emi
ssions and will help Ireland meet its long term international climate change obligations.”