EUR 102M for Employment Policy
Labour, Family and Social Affairs Minister Ivan Svetlik said that the government had earmarked EUR 102.2m for the implementation of the active employment policy in 2012, as he met social partners at the Economic and Social Council (ESS), Slovenia's industrial relations forum.
The ministry has also earmarked a further EUR 350m that would be paid out by 2015, Svetlik told the press, adding however that "the question is whether the budget will remain within this framework".
The ministry would include 58,255 persons in its policy, of which 14,505 would be employed directly and another 14,400 would be employed in line with the measures that are to be implemented by 30 June 2012.
The foremost measure will include training and counseling for first-job seekers, those who lost their jobs due to insolvencies and redundant workers, according to the ministry.
The ministry's measures also include training of workers in companies and subsidising employment of groups that would be otherwise hard to employ, creating jobs, mostly within a programme of public works, and stimulate self-employment with subsidies.
Igor Antauer of the Employers' Association meanwhile said that receiving subsidies for self-employment only was not enough, as one "has to be allowed to figure out for himself whether he is up for taking the money and following the path of self-employment".
Dusan Semolic, the head of Slovenia's biggest trade union association ZSSS, moreover argued that "the young are forced into self-employment", without getting to know the real situation of the self-employed.
"This serves as a way to lower the statistics of the unemployed", but a number of those that decide for this option find themselves in an even harsher situation, Semolic added.
He on the other hand said it was good that the amount of funds for boosting employment was growing, but argued that Slovenian companies should be protected from takeovers, as they could otherwise "generate a high number of newly unemployed" in the future.
The state should introduce measures that would prevent the companies that had received government aid from moving their production abroad for at least ten years, according to Semolic.
In addition, he expressed doubt that the outgoing government would adopt the guidelines for the active employment policy, which Svetlik said it would.
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