EGF / CWVEC Horticulture Programme
This project was funded by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to support former Waterford Crystal workers who were made redundant from January 2009. EGF assistance is designed to help Member States, such as Ireland, overcome the worst of the short-term shock of mass redundancy, and so it is limited to a relatively short period. The desired outcome was that this extra assistance would actively promote employment, education, training and entrepreneurship.
Waterford City VEC rose to the challenge and developed a ‘bespoke’ horticulture programme in consultation with ex-Waterford Crystal workers’ representatives. A group of fourteen participants signed up and the programme began on 1st November 2010.
The group quickly established themselves as The Organic Boys (see their Facebook page) and began the development of the site behind the Adult Education Centre. This included erecting a polytunnel, constructing raised beds and re-laying an old existing pathway before beginning the process of growing a wide range of fruit & vegetables.
The outcome was a FETAC Level 5 Major Award in Organic Horticulture for this group of 14 ex-Waterford Crystal workers. Even though the EGF was no longer available after August 2011 the group were keen to continue their studies and remained with the Adult Education Centre for a further year to expand their knowledge of Horticulture and explore options for starting their own business.