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Catalan Government to launch €50 million plan to fight unemployment among those over 45

The Catalan Government announced on Tuesday a new programme to assist unemployed people aged 45 and over to return to the labour market and find a new job. The Executive has ordered Catalonia's Public Employment Service (SOC) to launch the programme, the details of which will be fine-tuned in the coming weeks. According to the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, the plan will have a budget of around €50 million and 30,000 people should benefit from it. Puig highlighted that the number of people registered as unemployed has decreased for 21 consecutive months in annual terms, but there is still a great effort needed to improve the overall high unemployment figures. Furthermore, young people and those over 45 have the greatest difficulty finding a new job.

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07 April 2015 09:10 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government announced on Tuesday a new programme to assist unemployed people aged 45 and over to return to the labour market and find a new job. The Executive has ordered Catalonia's Public Employment Service (SOC) to launch the programme, the details of which will be fine-tuned in the coming weeks. According to the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, the plan will have a budget of around €50 million and 30,000 people should benefit from it. Puig highlighted that the number of people registered as unemployed has decreased for 21 consecutive months in annual terms, but there is still a great effort needed to improve the overall high unemployment figures. Furthermore, young people and those over 45 have the greatest difficulty finding a new job. The Catalan Minister stated that "the groups with the most difficulty returning to the labour market are young people with poor education and people over 45 who have poor skills, knowledge, and work experience, and professional qualifications which are not adapted to the requirements of the increasingly demanding industrial and economic sectors". Besides this, the Catalan Government will also approve the Young Guarantee programme, targeting young people between 16 and 30 years old. It will guarantee all youngsters the access to a job offer, a traineeship opportunity or an education course.


Felip Puig welcomed the decline in registered unemployment figures in March in Catalonia, which was the biggest drop in 19 years in absolute terms for this month of the year. Registered unemployment decreased by 9,469 people compared to February figures, which represents a 1.63% monthly drop. In annual terms, it declined by 8.53%. "During 21 months we have been winning the battle against unemployment and, even though the speed is still insufficient, it is increasing", he stated. "This has resulted in a month of March which has been the best one for the last 15 years, since we have comparable figures", Puig added.

The Catalan Minister has also identified people over 45 as an age group with great difficulties re-accessing the labour market. Currently, 282,055 of the 571,655 people in total that are registered as unemployed in Catalonia are aged 45 or older. Their number has increased by 149% since 2008, when they represented 113,295 individuals. This is due to the economic crisis but also to the overall ageing of the population.

According to Puig, the Catalan Government has to increase its efforts to assist these people, and hence the programme announced today will be launched. "The measures of the programme focusing on people over 45 include: facilitating return to the labour market, hiring measures and also education and training measures, including professional skills certificates, in order to better adapt to a labour market where there is already a demand in specific sectors", explained Puig. In addition, all the SOC programmes should keep at least 20% of their resources for this age group.

The new plan will be financed with public money from the SOC. The fact that the Young Guarantee programme will mostly be financed with European funds (90% of the total) has freed up resources for the programme targeting people over 45.

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  • Catalan Business and Employment Minister, Felip Puig, on Tuesday (by R. Garrido)

  • Catalan Business and Employment Minister, Felip Puig, on Tuesday (by R. Garrido)
Catalan Government to launch €50 million plan to fight unemployment among those over 45