The European Commission has proposed to provide Belgium with €1.6 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgique to find new jobs.
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EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen commented: "EU solidarity is key to support vulnerable workers. The retail sector is struggling to adjust to global trade changes. I am convinced that the proposed support from Europe's Globalisation Adjustment Fund would help the affected workers in their transition to learn new skills, find new jobs or set up their own enterprises".
Belgium applied for support from the EGF following the 1,019 redundancies in Carrefour Belgique. These job losses were the result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, in particular the increasing competition in the area of online shopping from sellers outside the EU.
Due to the particularly difficult employment situation in Wallonia, the financial support will be targeted towards 400 workers made redundant in that region. These former workers will be able to participate in the measures co-financed by the EGF.
Along with the workers, up to 330 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 25 will also be offered support.
Both workers and NEETs will be provided with
- active career guidance
- job-search support
- vocational training
- promotion of entrepreneurship and
- contributions to start up their own business.
The total estimated cost of the package is €2.7 million, of which the EGF would provide €1.6 million. The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval.