Grants for Gozo’s EAP scheme presented to over 170 employers
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The Minister for Gozo Dr Anton Refalo, together with the Parliamentary Secretary for the 2017 European Presidency and European Union Funding, Dr Ian Borg, presented the grants for the Employment Aid Programme signed between ETC and employers.
€1.9 million in European Funding will aid the employment of 357 people, half of which are women.
Through the EAP, a European Social Fund, employers will receive 50% of the basic wage plus half the cost of the employer’s National Insurance contribution, for a maximum of 52 weeks, with employers of persons with disability receiving 75% of the basic wage cost.
The participants’ eligibility criteria has been widened in line with the General Block Exemption Regulation, with the programme also focusing on helping persons with disability finding employment through larger subsidies for their prospective employers.
The Chairman of ETC Mr Alfred Grixti, expressed his satisfaction on the success of the scheme. He pointed out the Government’s commitment to ensure that 10 % of European funds received are allocated to Gozo.
He added that this was clearly demonstrated with the EAP system which received €1.9 million in European funds. 170 different Gozitan employers have benefitted from the scheme he said, employing 357 people, 179 men and 178 women.
He explained that while 46 of these persons (16 female, 30 male) were registered, 198 people (99 women, 99 men ) were not employed. 38 people (23 female, 15 male ) were employed on a temporary or part -time basis, while 75 people (40 women, 35 men) were already on a training scheme.
Mr Grixti stressed how thanks to this scheme these people have now entered the labour market, adding that statistics on such schemes show that the rate of people who remained in employment after benefiting from this type of scheme is over 70%.
The Minister for Gozo spoke about the Government’s dedication to use European funds in the most effective manner. He reiterated his commitment to provide training schemes which serve as a start to employment. “These schemes are just the beginning. The Government has the vision to continue to work to focus on the unique features of the island, creating employment, and the regeneration of the economy,” said Minister Refalo .
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Dr Ian Borg explained that during the current financial programme covering the period 2014-2020, funds will be allocated for schemes similar to the Employment Aid Programme in Malta and Gozo. This is because this scheme has been welcomed both by those seeking employment and employers. “The Government is on track in the programming of European Funds.”