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New website to help the unemployed in Greece

22 March 2012 / 17:03:04  GRReporter
2432 reads

Victoria Mindova

The endless wandering between different ministries, institutions and government organizations for the unemployed in Greece, desperately seeking information about how to take part in the employment programmes of the state, but finding no authority to help them, is almost over. The response has come with the development of a new website that offers a specific description of all current employment programmes. The solution seems simple, but it has only come after Greece had to fall into the most serious financial crisis in its modern history to drive any cooperation between institutions. More than 30 major programmes, related to employment recovery and vocational retraining, are running in the country at present.

"This website is a kind of a virtual information centre offering complete and timely data on training and incentive measures for employment," stated the Minister of Labour and Social Security George Koutroumanis at a press conference presenting the new specialized website. The programmes are aimed at improving the skills of young people to facilitate their access to the labour market and to professionals, who have lost their jobs and seek retraining. They are the initiative of various ministries and until recently, citizens who were willing to obtain information had to turn to each of them separately.

"Our greatest difficulty was how to inform those in need. No matter how good the programmes were, the majority of people were not able to find information about them. It was impossible to get information on the phone. The situation in the administrative offices of the responsible ministries was not different either," admitted the Minister. He stressed that the programmes giving impetus to employment cannot solve the problems of the labour market in Greece but allow it to take a breath. According to Koutroumanis, if these government initiatives were not introduced today, the unemployment rate would be at least 25%. In other words, the unemployed would have surpassed 1.3 million instead of one million as per the latest data of the National Statistical Service of Greece, which reported an unemployment rate of around 20%.

The website is planned to contain in the future information about the programmes of universities and colleges that offer special workshops for additional retraining of staff, subsidized by the state or private organizations. "The website allows citizens to choose the appropriate programme based on their needs and specific characteristics to enable their successful realization in the labour market in times of crisis," said Fofi Genimata, who was a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour until last year and was the main initiator of the development of an information platform.

The analysis of the social profile of the unemployed in Greece shows that the highest rate is for uneducated people - 30.9%. High school graduates are 28% of the unemployed after the height of the crisis, while university graduates represent 23.1% of the unemployed. The lowest unemployment rates are observed in specialists having masters and doctorate degrees. Their rate is 14.8% and 11.9% respectively. Unemployed in the latter group have the highest chance of realization abroad, which is becoming a common trend among university graduates. So far, the unemployment issue remains the most serious in the regions of northern Greece and central Macedonia. In certain municipalities there, unemployment exceeds 50% of the total workforce. A budget of 23.5 million euro is provided for these programmes but there is not a good enough information platform to be utilized.


Tags: MarketsSocietyUnemploymentProgrammeEmployment
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