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EURES in Portugal works to tackle unemployment
The economic crisis which began in 2008 has had an especially severe impact on the economies of several southern European countries such as Portugal. With an unemployment rate of 15 % in February 2012, the services provided by EURES are more vital than ever.
“More and more Portuguese are ready to work and live in other EU Member States, especially if they can’t find a job at home,” explains Ana Margarida Silva, a member of the EURES Management Support Team in Portugal. “Therefore it’s important that we at EURES do our part to help people overcome the crisis by taking advantage of mobility,” she says.
EURES in Portugal has, in some cases, begun, and in many cases, expanded cooperation with EURES in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and the UK. An increasing array of joint events and initiatives is now on offer to help Portuguese jobseekers make the most of opportunities in Europe.
“We’re working particularly closely with EURES in Germany, for example, in response to increased demand for qualified workers,” says Ana. The first event in the latest round of joint activities was a recruitment fair held in June 2011 in Porto and Lisbon. “This was a mid-scale event with around 600 participants targeted especially at healthcare professionals, engineers, and those in the hotel and catering industries. In addition to employers being present, we also organised informational sessions on living and working in Germany.”
Since June 2011, two more notable joint events between EURES in Portugal and EURES in Germany have taken place in November 2011 and March 2012 and the organisers have generally made each subsequent event more sector specific. “The March 2012 event, for example, was a particularly successful case. We focused on nursing, advertised specific job profiles in advance, pre-selected candidates with our four employers, and in the end we saw around 60 candidates – participating often in multiple interviews – and at least 19 people hired overall,” enthuses Ana. Another such targeted recruitment event dedicated to engineers will follow on 4 and 5 June 2012.
A large number of often highly-qualified Portuguese citizens remain in search of work and EURES Portugal is working intensively with the rest of the EURES network to match up supply with demand. Indeed, in mid-May 2012 more than 20 Norwegian companies are planning to come to Portugal to participate in the Engineers Mobility Days event organised by EURES. In addition, employers and EURES Advisers from Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK will also be present. With the EURES network firmly committed to tackling unemployment, many more events and successes are sure to follow.