Sweden: €2.13 million in job-search aid for 900 former Ericsson staff
- Redundancies in Stockholm, Västsverige, Östra Mellansverige and Sydsverige
- Ericsson hit by Asian competitors and declining telecoms hardware production
- EU funds cover measures such as start-up grants and mobility allowances
EU job-search aid worth €2,130,400 for 900 workers made redundant by telecoms company Ericsson was approved by the European Parliament in a vote on Thursday.
Since 2014, Ericsson has entirely shut down three factories and closed telecoms hardware production lines at various sites, due to restructuring and offshoring. The telecoms business has faced growing competition, especially from Asian companies, and experienced negative growth in its hardware-centric business line and technology upgrades, resulting in fewer people being required. In total 2,388 workers were made redundant, 900 of whom will benefit from the measures.
This is Sweden's second application for EU job-search aid related to Ericsson, after a first in March 2016, as the company has been gradually cutting staff in Sweden. The redundant employees worked in Stockholm, Västsverige, Östra Mellansverige and Sydsverige. Most are male, between the ages of 30 and 54.
The aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) covers 60% of the total cost, with five types of measures: career planning, start-up grants, education, job search and mobility allowances. Measures for disadvantaged groups are also included for individuals over 50 years old or with physical disabilities.
The resolution, by rapporteur Urmas Paet (ALDE, EE) recommending that the aid request be approved, was passed by 557 votes to 71, with 4 abstentions.
The EGF aid has already been approved by the Council of Ministers, on 27 February, and can now be used.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling 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 the measures and will have their costs reimbursed by the EU when their applications are finally approved.