The European Commission has approved an application from Portugal for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The grant of € 1.4 million will help 680 redundant workers in shoe manufacturing to find new jobs.
The Commission is making a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to mobilise the budgetary resources.
The Portuguese application relates to 974 redundancies in Rohde - Sociedade Industrial de Calçado Luso-Alemã, Lda. - a shoe manufacturing company based in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal.
The situation of Rohde was affected by the decrease in sales and the reduced capacity to invest, resulting from the financial and economic crisis.
These circumstances, including the declining orders from the parent enterprise based in Schwalmstadt, Germany, led to the closure of the factory and the dismissal of the workers.
The loss of Rohde adds close to 1,000 workers to the job-seekers in the Norte and Centro regions, which are suffering higher unemployment rates than the country as a whole. Both regions were already accepted for EGF support in June 2009. Norte was accepted again for EGF support in September 2010.
The package of EGF assistance for the ex-workers of Rohde will include skills recognition, vocational training, grants for training at personal initiative, entrepreneurship training and support to business creation, support to self-placement and hiring incentives.
The total estimated cost of this package is €2.23 million, of which the European Globalisation adjustment Fund has been asked to fund €1.44 million. 680 of the 974 workers made redundant will benefit from the EGF assistance.