During 2013-14, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) helped a total of 27 610 workers, who had been dismissed due to the economic crisis and the effects of globalisation, to find new job opportunities. A report adopted today shows that, during this period, the EGF provided more than €114.4 million to assist workers in 13 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain) in their transition and towards new job opportunities. The EGF funding was matched by another €94.1 million from national resources.
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen said: "During times when public resources are limited, the EGF has been providing welcome support to workers made redundant in mass lay-offs caused by globalisation or the crisis. Through personalised and targeted assistance we have supported the transition of some of the most vulnerable workers into new jobs, leading to an encouraging re-employment rate of almost 50%".
The EGF report gives an overview of applications for support measures made in 2013-2014 and also includes results from a number of cases for which final reports were received in 2013-2014. It shows that half the workers (7,656 out of 15,245) who participated in the EGF measures found new jobs or became self-employed. An additional 667 people were at that time in education or training to increase their future employability. Member States reported that the personal situation, employability and self-confidence of the workers concerned had visibly improved thanks to the EGF assistance and services.
The results in terms of re-integration into employment are encouraging, given the difficult labour market situation in most Member States, and considering that the EGF supports workers in particularly difficult circumstances. Many measures concern mass lay-offs in a specific territory, often already suffering from high unemployment rates. It is also to be noted that the supported workers are often low-skilled or had other disadvantages as jobseekers.
More open trade with the rest of the world leads to overall benefits for growth and employment, but it can also cost jobs, particularly in vulnerable sectors and among lower-skilled workers. This is why the Commission first proposed to set up a fund to help those adjusting to the consequences of globalisation. Since starting operations in 2007, the EGF has received 136 applications. Some €550 million have been paid out to help 128,331 workers.
The EGF provides funding for concrete measures to help dismissed workers improve their employability and find new job opportunities. An advantage of the EGF is that it can be used to finance measures tailored to the specific circumstances of each worker concerned. Such measures include:
- intensive, personalised job-search assistance
- various types of vocational training, up-skilling and retraining measures
- temporary incentives and allowances for the duration of the active measures
- support for business start-up
- mentoring throughout the process
The Fund continues during the 2014-2020 period as an expression of EU solidarity, with further improvements to its functioning. Its broadened scope for this period includes workers made redundant because of the economic crisis, as well as fixed-term workers, the self-employed. It also includes, by way of derogation until the end of 2017, young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) residing in regions eligible under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), up to a number equal to the redundant workers supported.
The EGF enables Member States to act more intensively in the areas affected by redundancies, in terms of the number of people assisted and the scope, duration and quality of support than would have been possible without EGF funding. With the help of the EU funds, they can respond more flexibly and include in their plans highly personalised actions, thus being able to devote more care to specific population groups (e.g. people aged over 50, people with migrant backgrounds, with handicaps or with only basic education and skills).
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