ISSN 2330-717X

Spain: Government Approves Plan To Combat Long-term Unemployment

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Spain’s Council of Ministers has approved the “Reincorpora-t” Plan to improve the employability of the long-term unemployed, to be developed over the next three years (2019-2021) with a budget of 1.31 billion euros.

The Minister for Work, Migration and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio, defined the goals set out under the Plan as “ambitious”, which include reducing the current rate of long-term unemployment, which is double the EU average, from 6.8% to 4.3%. In absolute terms, the aim is to reduce the number of long-term unemployed, which according to the Labour Force Survey, stands at 1.5 million, to 1 million, particularly among those over the age of 30.

Magdalena Valerio considers that the Plan is not only important quantitatively, but also socially, because in addition to being unemployed, those affected  also have “elements of individual and social vulnerability”, which may lead to “personal and family poverty, and to exclusion”. Among those groups with the greatest difficulties, the minister mentioned women, those over the age of 45 and those people with some form of disability, as well as the unemployed in the rural environment.

The Plan contains 63 measures to promote specific actions to enhance the employability of these people and on prevention to avoid the loss of work turning into a situation of long-term unemployment.

The minister explained that these measures will have an impact on personalised preparation for reinsertion into the job market in collaboration with social services. Furthermore, the unemployed may choose a guidance counsellor to advise them on re-training and the professional qualifications they may need and to help them look for a new job.

Several ministerial departments were involved in drafting the Plan, together with regional government departments, local authorities, business organisations, trade unions and third sector, social economy and self-employment organisations. Magdalena Valero explained that its development will also be participative since the document ties in all public authorities with private enterprise. “It is very important for them to be committed to undertaking an exercise in social responsibility by hiring the long-term unemployed because this is good for the country’s economy and for individuals, in other words, it is doubly good”.

Lastly, Magdalena Valerio pointed out that in addition to the financing allocated for the “Reincorpora-t” Plan, there are another 2.69 billion euros allocated to two other measures already in force – the recovery of the subsidy for the unemployed over the age of 52 contained in Royal Decree-Law 8/2019, of 8 March, and the contributions of professional and non-professionals carers under the Long-term Care Act, regulated by Royal Decree-Law 6/2019, of 1 March.

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