The European Commission has today approved an application from Denmark for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The grant of € 3.9m will help 325 redundant workers in the wind turbine industry to find new jobs.
The application will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for approval.
The Danish application relates to 813 redundancies in Vestas Group and two other manufacturers of wind turbines: I.P.L Transmissioner and Lind Jensens Maskinfabrik.
The redundancies are a consequence of changes in world trade patterns, in particular a significant reduction of the EU market share and delocalisation of production outside the EU, in particular to Asia. Apart from considerably lower labour costs, the high costs of transporting the big parts of wind turbines to the most dynamic end-user markets is one of the main reasons why production has been progressively migrating out of the EU so as to remain competitive and maintain a market position.
The area affected by the redundancies is Midtjylland (Central Denmark Region) and particularly the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern. The affected workers represent about 2,5 % of the total number of workplaces in the Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality where unemployment has been rising much more than in the region of Midtjylland and Denmark as a whole. The workers in the iron and metal industry, to which the manufacture of wind turbines sector belongs, constitute a higher share in the total number of workers in the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern, than in Denmark as a whole (19 % and 6 % respectively), thus making the region more vulnerable to the negative changes in the sector.
Of the total 813 workers made redundant, the 325 workers with the biggest difficulties of re-integration into the labour market are targeted for assistance from the EGF. The package will help the workers by providing them with support for further education and training, reorientation, and a mentoring scheme in conjunction with practical training. Jobseekers will also be offered various allowances depending on their status in the national support system and the activities in which they are participating from among the coordinated package of EGF co-funded measures.
These measures have been carefully designed to help the workers find jobs in sectors with a promising future. In addition, they go beyond what the Danish system can currently offer unemployed people and, if successful, will be applied more generally in future.
The total estimated cost of the EGF support package is approximately € 6 million, of which the EU European Globalisation Adjustment Fund will pay almost € 4 million.