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€10.3 million in funding announced for migrant integration and gender equality in the workforce

English language classes and training initiatives for women are some of the projects awarded grants.

Image: Sam Boal

THIRTY-SIX PROJECTS across Ireland have been awarded funding in areas that will help the integration of migrants and promote gender equality. 

Following a call for applications, the projects from organisations including the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Monaghan County Council, and Business in the Community Ireland, will receive grants totalling €10.3 million over the next three years. 

The migrant integration projects will provide a range of supports to migrants, including English language classes and workplace training, a statement from the Department of Justice said. 

There will also be grants made available to cultural diversity and anti-racism initiatives, it said. 

Minister of State David Stanton said: “These grants will support and bolster the good work being carried out every day by local community organisations and national NGOs in support of migrant integration, which is crucially important.”

One of the projects in Cork under the migrant intergration category involves training to migrants based around a horticultural theme. Another nationwide project is aimed at providing diversity training in schools to promote diversity and integration. 

Some €4.5 million of this funding is being made available under the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). 

Gender equality

Meanwhile, another €5.8 million in funding has been announced to gender equality through women’s entrepreneurship and participation in the workforce. 

One Leinster-based project will provide employment-readiness training to women in the asylum system focused around Direct Provision locations. 

Another South and West Dublin-based project will provide training and mentoring to women who wish to start their own business. 

Funding of €4.3 million over three years is being made available under the European  Social Fund for initiatives targeted at women who are currently detached  from the labour market but wish to take up paid employment. 

A further €1.5 million is being made available to support women’s entrepreneurship. 

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “The €5.8m I am announcing today will support women’s participation in the workforce. 

“It builds on the €5.5m funding awarded to 18 projects in 2017 and it will directly support disadvantaged women to access the labour market. It will also, I hope, help more women to become successful entrepreneurs.

He added: “I am very encouraged by the progress to date and the continuing improvement in women’s participation in the workforce.

“However, women continue to have lower overall levels of participation in the workforce, are paid less and have less access to senior positions. Women are also less likely to own or manage their own businesses.”

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