The European Commission has proposed to provide the Netherlands with €1.6 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 475 workers made redundant in the construction sector in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel to find new jobs.
The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for their approval.
The Netherlands applied for support from the EGF following the dismissal of 562 workers from 89 small and medium sized enterprises operating in the construction sector in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, where construction is a major employer.
The measures co-financed by the EGF would help 475 workers facing the greatest difficulty to find new jobs by offering them job-search assistance, outplacement assistance, vocational training and a mobility pool. The latter will be a flexible pool for both job seekers and employers and would provide temporary jobs. Retrained workers would in this way gain the necessary work experience and would be able to apply for new jobs once the temporary assignment expires.
The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €2.7 million, to which the EGF would provide €1.6 million.
About 60 000 persons were employed in the construction sector in Gelderland and 39 500 persons in Overijssel, representing respectively 6.3 % and 7.3 % of the working population in these regions. Construction plays an important role in the provincial economy and labour market. The redundancies in the sector are therefore expected to have a substantial negative impact on the local and regional economy and on overall levels of employment.
The number of unemployed in the construction sector in Gelderland and Overijssel comprised 39% of the total number of unemployed people in that sector in the whole country in 2012. The number of unemployed construction workers has doubled in the January 2011 – December 2013 period.