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The European Commission has approved two applications from Austria for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
The €9 506 036 requested by the Austrian authorities will help 356 former workers in basic metal enterprises and 74 redundant workers from a leading Printed Circuit Board manufacturer (PCB) to find new jobs. The territories concerned by the redundancies are the federal provinces of Styria and Lower Austria. Both provinces suffer from structural weaknesses with gross regional product below the national average and long-term unemployment above the national average. The application will now go to the European Parliament and EU Ministers for agreement.
The first of the Austrian applications relates to 167 redundancies at AT&S, a company operating in the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing sector.
The 167 redundancies are part of a longer chain of redundancies at AT&S Leoben, a total of 603 dismissals over 13 ½ months. Leoben's labour market was already in difficulties before these latest redundancies happened. Leoben is located in the region of Styria where long-term unemployment is generally higher than the national average while its gross regional product remains below the national average.
The package of EGF assistance for the former workers of AT&S will help 74 of the most disadvantaged, offering them measures like active job search assistance, various options for training and the necessary allowances. The total estimated cost of the package is almost €1.9 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance amounting to €1.2 million.
The second Austrian application relates to 1180 redundancies in 54 enterprises operating in the manufacturing of basic metals. 80 % of the Austrian metal production is exported and metal accounts for almost 9 % of Austria's total export volume, a higher share than the EU-27 average (6.1 %). Due to the crisis the sector's previous growth stopped abruptly in the fourth quarter of 2008, leading to a 38.6 % drop in metal exports in the period January - July 2009 compared to the previous year. The decline in exports is at the origin of the dismissals.
The package of EGF assistance for the workers made redundant in the manufacture of basic metals will help the 356 most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them occupational orientation, active job search, various options of training, and the necessary allowances. The total estimated cost of the package is almost €12.8 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance amounting to €8.2 million.