The European Commission has on January 18, 2010 approved an application from Lithuania for assistance under the Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
The Commission will now make a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council to mobilise the budgetary resources. The funding will help 806 workers in the buildings construction sector back into employment. The application – for assistance amounting to €1,118,893 – concerns workers made redundant in 128 small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.
The Lithuanian application relates to 1,612 redundancies in 128 small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the construction sector – one of the first sectors to be affected by the economic and financial crisis. It is expected that about half the redundant workers will take up the offers of assistance made possible thanks to support from the EGF.
During the first and second quarters of 2009, the volume of construction activity in Lithuania decreased by 42.81 % and 48.04 % respectively, compared with the same quarters in 2008, with the redundancies as a consequence of this sudden slow-down.
These redundancies have a serious impact in the country since unemployment in Lithuania is amongst the highest in the EU, and has risen sharply since the start of the economic and financial crisis. The construction industry has been especially badly affected, losing around 10% of its jobs in Lithuania in 2008 alone.
The package of EGF assistance for the construction workers who have lost their jobs will help 806 of the most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them employment incentives, career guidance and retraining. The total estimated cost of the package is almost €1,721,374, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of €1,118,893.