Brussels, 7 March 2013
Employment: Commission proposes €3.6 million from Globalisation Fund for former workers of Agile S.r.l. in Italy
The European Commission has today proposed to provide Italy with €3.6 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 856 former workers of information technology services company Agile S.r.l. to find new jobs. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for their approval.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented: "This proposal for 3.6 million euros from Europe's Globalisation Fund would help these former Agile workers to upgrade their skills and so help them to find new jobs."
Italy applied for support from the EGF for 1,257 workers made redundant by Agile S.r.l.. Of the redundant workers, 856 are expected to benefit from the EGF co-financed measures. The package is designed to help the workers by offering them career advice and skills assessment, outplacement and job-search assistance, vocational training and skills upgrades, postgraduate education, entrepreneurship promotion and contribution to business start-up, hiring benefits, mentoring after reintegration into work, job-search allowances and contributions towards special expenses such as contribution for carers of dependent persons, contribution to commuting expenses and contribution to the expenses for moving their residence to take up a new job. The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €5.6 million, of which the EGF would provide €3.6 million.
The strong decline of the information and communications technology sector in Italy hit Agile S.r.l. particularly hard. The effects of the global financial and economic crisis occurred when Agile was changing its commercial strategy by moving from offering call centre services at local level to offering integrated IT services at multiregional level. In the face of declining demand the company’s efforts proved to be insufficient, resulting in heavy losses and insolvency, leading to dismissals.
The Agile redundancies are spread over most of Italy. The territories concerned are 12 out of the 19 Italian regions: Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Basilica, Calabria and Sicily.
There have been 105 applications to the EGF since the start of its operations in 2007. Some €454 million has been requested to help about 94,500 workers. EGF applications are being presented to help redundant workers in a growing number of sectors, and by an increasing number of Member States.
More open trade with the rest of the world leads to overall benefits for growth and employment, but it can also cost some jobs, particularly in vulnerable sectors and affecting lower-skilled workers. This is why Commission President Barroso first proposed setting up a fund to help those adjusting to the consequences of globalisation. The EGF was established at the end of 2006 and was designed to demonstrate solidarity from the many who benefit from more open trade to the few who face the sudden shock of losing their jobs. In June 2009, the EGF rules were revised to strengthen the role of the EGF as an early intervention instrument forming part of Europe's response to the financial and economic crisis. The revised EGF Regulation entered into force on 2 July 2009 and applied to all applications received from 1 May 2009 to 31 December 2011.
Building on the experience acquired with the EGF since 2007 and its value added for the assisted workers and affected regions; the Commission has proposed to maintain the Fund also during the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework, while further improving its functioning.
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Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)
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