Europe acts to fight the crisis - the European Globalisation Fund revitalised

Type: News   Reference: i-061712   Duration: 00:08:57  Lieu: Portugal
End production: 02/06/2009   First transmission: 02/06/2009
Europe acts to fight the crisis - the European Globalisation Fund revitalised

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00:00:00 COMMENTARY This is Carla. She is setting up an educational farm where children of all ages can find out about different types of animals, and learn traditional crafts. On an area of 10 000 square meters, Carla is realising her dream. But this dream has come with an expensive price-tag. She managed to get a loan and some start-up funding, but for the special training courses on how to manage and run a business, she relied on the European Globalisation Fund. 00:00:30
00:00:30 ITW Carla Dos Santos Martins, Manager (PT) “In our special courses at the job centre we learned how to manage our own accounts, and how to consider things from an entrepreneur’s point of view. The teachers also analysed whether we were capable of managing the relationship between employer and employee. The lessons helped us to evaluate our capacities as managers in solving problems. Can we lead a business which is experiencing problems and how will we react when there is a crisis? How good are we at keeping our head above water when there are problems? 00:00:41
00:01:11 COMMENTARY For thirteen years Carla worked at the GM factory in Azambuja in Portugal. The factory closed in December 2007 because it had become more economically viable to produce Opel cars elsewhere. Today the site looks desolate and it’s hard to imagine that 1100 people used to work here. 00:00:21
00:01:32 ITW Luisa Bastos, Public Employment Service - Portugal (PT) “The impact of the closure of the GM factory was very big for the region. It also had severe consequences for other businesses and factories which had grown up around GM, and which provided various services to them. All these businesses really felt the closure as well.” 00:00:23
00:01:55 COMMENTARY Carla was able to help some of her co-workers who were also made redundant. In her team she now has some former colleagues from GM. 00:00:10
00:02:05 ITW Carla Dos Santos Martins, Manager (PT) “There are five of us in total. The other workers also benefited from the unemployment fund. Some of them were more than 45 years old, as well as being unemployed. Now, they have been given the opportunity to work here and are being rewarded for their efforts. Together, we have all been able to develop our capacities. We are using this opportunity as a kind of spring-board. I feel that they are happy. They are amazing people .” 00:00:28
00:02:33 COMMENTARY The training courses are mostly given in Job centres like this one. The European Commission receives the applications for unemployment support from the governments of the member states. Because the current financial crisis is so severe, the European Commission has decided to widen the scope of the Globalisation Fund. 00:00:20
00:02:53 ITW Peter Stub Jørgensen, Director Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities – E.C. (EN) We have made it easier to use, you need fewer redundancies in order to access the fund. Normally it was 1000 people who had to loose their jobs, now it is 500. So it is easier to use, the fund. We have increased the percentage with witch the commission co financed the actions from 50 to 65 percent and we have made it possible to intervene not just for globalisation but also for people who’ve lost their jobs because of economic and financial crisis. 00:00:33
00:03:26 COMMENTARY One of the fields which has been severely hit by the crisis is the textile sector. Small, traditional companies like this one in the region of Covilhà in Portugal are struggling to survive. 00:00:13
00:03:39 ITW José Robalo, Portuguese Wool Textile Association (PT) It was already important for us to get help from Europe. With the current economic and financial crisis, we now need the funding even more. It is important that workers have access to professional training so that small businesses in the textile industry can also remain competitive. Otherwise the whole sector is finished and will collapse.” 00:00:33
00:04:12 COMMENTARY In Covilhà, specially designed IT courses for unemployed textile workers financed by the Globalisation Fund are providing essential help for getting them back into the labour market. 00:00:14
00:04:26 ITW Maria Joao Garrett, Director Training Courses (PT) “Because unemployment is rising in the region, especially in the textile sector, it is important to have the Fund. A lot of people really need it. Most of the people here started to work when they were very young and therefore have a low level of education. When they lose their job, they then find it very difficult to get back into employment because of that lack of education. The aid the Fund provides is therefore fundamental in helping all these people. It will help them to improve their lives and their living conditions, especially in the more isolated areas of the country.” 00:00:43
00:05:09 COMMENTARY Twenty-two people are taking the IT courses, and each of them has received individual training on how to use a laptop. 00:00:10
00:05:19 ITW Antonio Mendes Morais, Student (PT) “I always like to learn more, and I am really trying to learn here. Now, because I am already 54 years old, it is rather difficult. It would have been easier a couple of years ago. It is more difficult now for me to learn something new than it used to be.” 00:00:15
00:05:34 COMMENTARY The rapidly changing economy, and the challenges Europe is currently facing due to the financial crisis, have prompted the European Commission to step up its efforts in the Recovery programme. From July 2009 onwards, new rules will apply for the Globalisation Fund to help member states fight the crisis. 00:00:20
00:05:54 ITW Peter Stub Jørgensen, Director Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities – E.C. (EN) Over the period of time that the fund will be available. That’s until 2013. This will amount to some 4 Billion Euros all in all. So that is our potential. And on the basis of our experience so far, we think that the average support per worker concerned is about 5000 Euros. And that gives a potential of us being able to help up to what 800.000 people. So it is a very important instrument, and a very significant contribution to combat the effects of the crisis 00:00:46
00:06:40 COMMENTARY And over in Germany Marlies has also benefited from the European Globalisation Fund. She lost her job in a mobile phone factory, but has been successfully retrained as a truck driver. 00:00:13
00:06:53 ITW Marlies Wiesner, Truck driver (DE) It’s a totally different job, but I really like it. You’re responsible for yourself on the road. You drive a truck. You work with a lot of different people and you have a lot of nice colleagues who are always ready to help out, especially when you’re new and you’ve just passed your driving test. I can always ask them to help load the truck, for instance. 00:00:34
00:07:27 COMMENTARY The factory where Marlies worked - BenQ in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany –closed in December 2006. More than 1700 of its former employees were then placed in special retraining schemes. 00:00:16
00:07:43 ITW Angelika Preiss, Project Leader (DE) This initiative has been a great success! All in all, 82 per cent of our trainees found a new job. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Fund. These people have a job and they are hopefully going to have a job in the long-run, as they now have competences that will help them in the future. Thanks to the EGF we could also offer proper qualifications to people who did not have any. These people are no longer regarded as untrained, but are now qualified as skilled workers on the labour market. 00:00:36
00:08:19 COMMENTARY In the case of Marlies, she received specialised driving instruction. Because she now has the most up-to-date EU-approved truck driver’s licence, she is better equipped to keep her job during these economically testing times. 00:00:14
00:08:33 ITW Marlies Wiesner, truck driver (DE) I have always been confident that I would find another job, but I’d never even thought of working as a lorry driver, even in my dreams…until the day they offered me the chance to train for a truck driving test. 00:00:13
00:08:46 COMMENTARY If actions speak louder than words, then the example of Marlies can show us how spirit and courage - combined with the right retraining - can set everyone moving forward on the right track. 00:00:11
00:08:57 end 00:00:00
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