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The European Commission wants to spend €1.2 million on former Basque metal workers




The unemployment rate of workers in the metal industry in the Basque Country has risen sharply (photo: San Diego Fundicion)
The unemployment rate of workers in the metal industry in the Basque Country has risen sharply (photo: San Diego Fundicion)
SPAIN. The European Commission is proposing, on Thursday 7 October 2021, to support 300 former employees of the Basque metal sector in Spain who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for redundant workers (EGF) is expected to provide €1.2m - out of an annual budget of €210m for the period 2021-2027 - to help the Basque authorities fund measures for these employees. They will focus on older workers and those with low levels of education who will find it difficult to reintegrate.
The measures include assistance with career guidance, job search, acquisition of new or additional skills through individualised vocational training, strengthening of digital skills. They will also support employees who want to start their own business. Allowances may be granted.

The EGF will therefore cover 85% of the €1.4 million required for the total cost of these measures and the Basque Public Employment Service (Lanbide) will cover the remaining amount. "In times of crisis, it is of the utmost importance to invest in people", commented Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights.

The European Commission's proposal still has to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

25% more unemployed in six months

"In 2020, one third of companies manufacturing metal products in Spain experienced a 30 to 50% drop in production and turnover compared to the previous year," the European Commission said in a statement. This has led to the redundancy of 300 employees in the sector in the Spanish Basque Country. In August 2020, this region had 25% more unemployed than six months earlier, while job losses in the industrial sector were greater than in all the others combined. In the Basque Country, metalworking accounts for around a quarter of the gross value added of Spanish industry and 50% of its production.

Since 2007, the EGF has made available some €652 million in 166 cases, providing support to more than 160,000 workers and around 4,400 young people without jobs, education or training in 20 Member States. Portuguese textile manufacturing workers in the Centre (Centro), North (Norte) and Lisbon (Lisboa) regions received €4.7m to find new jobs. 550 from three newspaper companies in the Attica region of Greece also joined a training and reorientation scheme.

The EGF-supported measures are in addition to national active labour market measures.

Eric Apim


Thursday, October 7th 2021



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