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EGF helps 85% ex Anttila, Stockmann workers to get job

Published : 13 Jun 2019, 11:20

Updated : 13 Jun 2019, 11:22

  DF Report

File Photo Visit Finland by Ari-Pekka Darth.

About 85 per cent of the former employees of Anttila and Stockmann who had been made redundant had found a job following completion of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

In November, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) granted Finland EUR 2.5 million to assist those employees, said a government press release.

The bankruptcy of the Anttila department store and the lay-offs of the Stockmann department store in autumn 2016 left more than 1,600 retail sector employees without a job.

Finland quickly made use of a grant from the EGF for a project where services were provided to those laid off to help them find new employment.

Measures to support the employment of those laid off included different types of training and education.

Support was provided to 670 persons. At the end of the project, 84 per cent of those laid off had found a job, 2.9 per cent took part in education or training, and 11.8 per cent remained unemployed.

“In recent years, Finland has primarily conducted EGF projects in the ICT sector, with excellent results. It’s wonderful to see that the experiences and results are equally good in the retail trade sector,” said Coordinator Erja Nikula.

“The retail trade sector will continue to transform. That does not mean jobs will disappear, but competence requirements will change. Active competence building and skills updating will be required of people working in the sector,” Nikula added.

Training and coaching programmes have attracted the largest number of participants, but 24 new start-up grants have also been provided.

Finland has made extensive use of EGF support

The amount spent on EGF-supported projects in Finland during the EGF’s ten-year history is a total of approximately EUR 40 million, including both EGF and national funding. Finland has made use of EGF funding in connection with major job losses in the ICT sector in particular. In 2015–2016, Finland applied for more EGF funding than any other EU Member State.

In EGF-supported projects, the EU’s funding share is 60 per cent and the national contribution is 40 per cent. In cases of major structural change, EGF support is granted for active employment policy measures, such as different forms of training, education, promotion of mobility, pay subsidies and start-up grants.