EU job seeker’s aid worth €1.2 million for 303 dismissed workers in Spain
- Support for 303 former workers from aluminium producer Alu Ibérica in Spain
- The company had to shut down due to increased energy and raw material costs
- Funding should help the dismissed workers find new jobs through tailored guidance and advice, vocational training, and job-matching
303 former employees of aluminium producer Alu Ibérica in Spain’s Galicia region will receive over €1.2 million in EU aid after the company declared bankruptcy.
On Tuesday, Parliament approved Spain’s request for support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). MEPs acknowledged that “the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have reduced economic competitiveness across the Union, including in Spain”, adding that “the margins of the enterprises in Spain and their competitiveness have furthermore been reduced by the current rise in inflation, in particular the higher prices of raw materials and energy.”
These high prices and downward pressure on world aluminium prices, resulting from production overcapacity in China, contributed to Alu Ibérica’s bankruptcy. MEPs underline the significant impact of the company’s closure on the local labour market and the economy of the city of A Coruña, which has an unemployment rate well in excess of the EU average.
Workers from disadvantaged age group
The displaced workers will need additional support to find new employment in the regional labour market, taking into account that 35% of them are aged 45 or over and may experience additional challenges in finding work. This age group makes up 60% of the registered job seekers in A Coruña.
The funding will help former employees find new jobs through actions such as information services and preparatory workshops, occupational guidance, training, intensive job-search assistance and tutoring after reintegration into the workforce. The total estimated cost of these measures is about €1.5 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€1,275,000). The Galicia Region in Spain will finance the remaining 15% (€225,000).
The report by Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES), recommending that Parliament approve the aid, was passed by 585 votes, 30 against and 11 abstentions.
Under the EGF regulation 2021-2027, the Fund supports displaced workers and self-employed people who have lost their activity. EGF support is more easily available for people affected by restructuring: all types of unexpected major restructuring events can be eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member states can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.
Overall, since 2007, the EGF has made available €690 million in 176 cases, offering help to more than 168,000 people in 20 member states, according to the Commission. EGF-supported measures complement to national active labour market measures.