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Sole traders in Kerry urged to apply for Enterprise Support Grant – Griffin

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Self-employed people in Kerry should apply for the newly-revamped Enterprise Support Grant to help them get back on their feet after COVID-19, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said.

The grant, worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, taxi drivers etc., who do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme.

“My colleague, Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys, has today opened applications to people who need assistance in getting back on their feet and their businesses back up and running," Deputy Griffin said.

“The Enterprise Support Grant previously supported entrepreneurs who were setting up new enterprises. But it has now been revamped to specifically provide once-off supports for self-employed people who have been severely impacted and have had to cease operations as a result of the pandemic.

“I would strongly encourage self-employed people in Kerry to apply for this grant, whether it’s to assist with operating costs or salaries for their staff, so that they continue to provide the crucial services that our communities in Kerry depend upon."

Anyone wishing to apply for the grant can download the application form on www.welfare.ie and, when completed should be sent to their local Intreo Centre.

Many sole traders and small business owners in Kerry have in recent months been in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), he added.

“The PUP has been a crucial support for people who, through no fault of their own, found themselves out of work and that is why Minister Humphreys decided to extend the payment until April next year."

The Department of Social Protection has stated that this grant will assist those people who transitioned from the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into self-employment since May 18, which marked Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Once-off funding of up to a maximum €1,000 will be available to assist them with re-opening their business.
The support is available to small business owners who employ fewer than 10 people, are not liable for commercial rates and have an annual turnover of less than €1 million - providing kick-start funding to those enterprises that do not have an entitlement to other business re-start grants.

Announcing details of the grant, Minister Humphreys said, “Whether it’s paying wages, fuel costs, purchasing PPE or signage – this is an important grant to assist the self-employed to reopen their business and get back doing what they do best: Providing crucial and essential services in their communities.

“So if you’re a plumber, carpenter, beautician, gardener or electrician who is transitioning back to work, or the taxi driver getting your car back on the road – this grant may be of interest to you.”

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.

At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.

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Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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