EU job-search aid for former workers at Greek retailer and Irish jeweller
The EU should make available aid worth €8.8 million to help find or create new jobs for workers made redundant by fashion retailer Sprider Stores in Greece and jewellery maker Andersen Ireland Limited in Ireland, recommended the Budgets Committee on Tuesday.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.
Irish jewellery firm: €1.5 million for 171 former employees
The jewellery maker Andersen Ireland Limited was forced to make 171 workers redundant as imports from Asia came to dominate the European market. This was exacerbated by growth in online sales as Andersen continued to rely on traditional distribution channels. The company operated in Rathkeale, in a region already hit by economic difficulties and high unemployment.
The €1.5 million EGF aid is for career and education support, as well as grants to start new films.
Greek retailer: €7.29 million for 761 former employees
Greece applied for EGF aid when fashion retail company Sprider Stores, hit by the financial and economic crisis, made redundant 761 workers in Central Macedonia and the Attica region. Retail sales were hit by rising unemployment and a drastic reduction in loans to the private sector, due to the general austerity measures. The Greek economy has been in deep recession for the sixth consecutive year, with GDP down by a quarter and private consumption down by a third.
The €7.29 million EGF aid is mainly for training, job-search assistance and career guidance.
The Council is to vote on the two applications on 10 November, followed by Parliament as a whole, at its second plenary session in November (24-27 November).
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was set up to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation or the financial crisis and to help them find new jobs. Between 2014 and 2020, the annual ceiling of the fund is €150 million. Redundant workers are offered measures such as support for business start-ups, job-search assistance, occupational guidance and various kinds of training. In most cases, national authorities have already started taking measures and have their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.