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European Commission - Press release
€ 3.9m from EU Globalisation Fund to help jobless from wind turbine manufacturing in Denmark back to work
Brussels, 11 July 2011 - The European Commission has today approved an application from Denmark for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The grant of € 3.9m will help 325 redundant workers in the wind turbine industry to find new jobs. The application will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for approval.
Welcoming the proposal, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented on the challenges facing the Danish wind turbine industry, where 813 jobs have recently been lost, saying: " World production patterns of wind turbines are changing as European manufacturers move production closer to the fastest growing markets in Asia and North America, where the crisis has had less of an impact."
The Commissioner stressed the importance of supporting the redundant workers in their efforts to find a new job as quickly as possible, saying: "I am confident that the planned job search measures funded by the EGF will make the workers' transition to new jobs easier and faster."
The Danish application relates to 813 redundancies in Vestas Group and two other manufacturers of wind turbines: I.P.L Transmissioner and Lind Jensens Maskinfabrik.
The redundancies are a consequence of changes in world trade patterns, in particular a significant reduction of the EU market share and delocalisation of production outside the EU, in particular to Asia. Apart from considerably lower labour costs, the high costs of transporting the big parts of wind turbines to the most dynamic end-user markets is one of the main reasons why production has been progressively migrating out of the EU so as to remain competitive and maintain a market position.
The area affected by the redundancies is Midtjylland (Central Denmark Region) and particularly the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern. The affected workers represent about 2,5 % of the total number of workplaces in the Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality where unemployment has been rising much more than in the region of Midtjylland and Denmark as a whole. The workers in the iron and metal industry, to which the manufacture of wind turbines sector belongs, constitute a higher share in the total number of workers in the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern, than in Denmark as a whole (19 % and 6 % respectively), thus making the region more vulnerable to the negative changes in the sector.
Of the total 813 workers made redundant, the 325 workers with the biggest difficulties of re-integration into the labour market are targeted for assistance from the EGF. The package will help the workers by providing them with support for further education and training, reorientation, and a mentoring scheme in conjunction with practical training. Jobseekers will also be offered various allowances depending on their status in the national support system and the activities in which they are participating from among the coordinated package of EGF co-funded measures.
These measures have been carefully designed to help the workers find jobs in sectors with a promising future. In addition, they go beyond what the Danish system can currently offer unemployed people and, if successful, will be applied more generally in future.
The total estimated cost of the EGF support package is approximately € 6 million, of which the EU European Globalisation Adjustment Fund will pay almost € 4 million.
There have been 77 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in January 2007, for a total amount of about €354 million, helping 75,348 workers. EGF applications relate to the following sectors: automotive (France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Belgium); textiles (Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Belgium); mobile phones (Finland and Germany); domestic appliances (Italy); computers and electronic products (Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands); shipbuilding (Denmark); mechanical/electronic (Denmark, Poland and Germany); repair and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft (Ireland); crystal glass (Ireland); ceramics and natural stone (Spain); financial services (Netherlands); construction (Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and Lithuania); carpentry and joinery (Spain); electrical equipment (Lithuania) publishing and printing industry (Netherlands), furniture (Lithuania), shoe manufacture (Portugal), retail trade (Czech Republic, Greece and Spain) and wholesale trade (Netherlands). Final reports from the earlier cases supported by the EGF show strong results in helping workers stay in the labour market and find new jobs.
The EGF, an initiative first proposed by President Barroso to provide help for people who lose their jobs due to the impact of globalisation, was established by the European Parliament and the Council at the end of 2006. In June 2009, the EGF rules were revised to strengthen the role of the EGF as an early intervention instrument. It forms part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis. The revised EGF Regulation entered into force on 2 July 2009 and applies to all applications received from 1 May 2009 onwards.
EGF website: http://ec.europa.eu/egf
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