K. Mitsotakis: Extension of the program for long-term unemployed aged 55-67

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the extension of the DYPA (formerly OAED) employment program for long-term unemployed aged 55 to 67 in order to create 6,500 additional jobs and the launch of a new program, which will cover 10,000 long-term unemployed over 45 years of age.

“There is a stereotype – you know – in Greece, that social policy must belong to certain ideological areas. I think we have proven in practice that this is not the case,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized, pointing out that the State has the knowledge on the one hand and their resources to drastically reduce unemployment and increase employment.

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During the discussion he had with women and men who are among the 8,000 aged 55-67 who have now found work in municipalities, regions, hospitals, insurance funds, KEP and other NPDD thanks to the existing program, the prime minister announced that the total of 8,500 positions foreseen to date will increase to 15,000, with a budget of 117 million euros.

The beneficiaries recounted their experiences, expressed their satisfaction with the good connection of the positions offered to them with their qualifications or experience, but also with the effectiveness of DYPA, especially the job counselors. They also underlined the social benefit and the great psychological upliftment offered by the return to the labor market, while at the same time they indicated that more long-term actions are needed with regard to the problem of unemployment in the age groups close to retirement.

New employment program for long-term unemployed over 45 years old

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The new employment program for the long-term unemployed over 45 years of age, in the private sector, will focus on areas considered to be pockets of high unemployment. Having a budget of 120 million euros, it will be financed by the Recovery Fund with the aim of starting its implementation immediately. It will have a duration of 12 to 18 months and will provide a monthly wage and contribution subsidy of 653 to 746 euros for the creation of new jobs.

“Right now we are coming and marrying three things: political will, know-how, which exists both in the Ministry and in DYPA, but also financial tools at the same time,” noted the Prime Minister. “The Public Employment Service combined with a direction from the political leadership, using the financial tools we currently have from the Recovery and Resilience Fund, but also from the NSRF programs, I think we can really go for active employment policies to another level and that’s our goal,” he added.

“We must not forget that even at the ages we are discussing we have the possibility to launch programs that are mutually beneficial”, noted Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The Prime Minister pointed out that it is possible to connect the DYPA programs in order to maximize support and fight unemployment in the older age group. “Let’s go build a bridge program to come and stick these people in a program now in the private sector,” he said characteristically.

“The truth is that age discrimination is a very big problem in the labor market,” said the head of the DYPA, Spyros Protopsaltis. “In this context, we have new actions from the Recovery Fund aimed at the long-term unemployed over 45 years old. 10,000 jobs will be created in the private sector, because the truth is that it is in the private sector that this deep absorption can also exist time,” he added.

The prime minister also weighed in on citizens’ observations of adjusting to the wider public sector after stints in private business, noting the unseen benefits that come from blending different experiences.

“What I find very interesting and which I did not realize when I was reading the material about this program, is exactly how this osmosis can be to the benefit of everyone. The civil servants, because they will see it from a different perspective, but also the beneficiaries, because they feel they are contributing and improving the productivity of the service they are assigned to,” he said.

The expansion of the existing program

In the context of the government’s strategy to support the long-term unemployed during the pandemic and the regular evaluation of programs by the administration of the former OAED to strengthen social policy, in July 2020 the number of agencies that could take part was significantly expanded to “55 to 67”, while the performance increased to 75% from 50% and the upper limit rose to 750 euros, against the 600 originally foreseen.

It is noted that the program started in 2017, but in 2018 the then target of 10,000 positions was cut in half and by July 2020 less than 1,500 recruitments had been made. However, following the changes that took place, its effectiveness increased drastically and within the period of about two years that followed, 8,000 recruitments were made.

“It is a program that started about 4-5 years ago, but from 2020 onwards it has been greatly strengthened”, said the Minister of Labor & Social Affairs Kostis Hatzidakis during the debate. “In other words, while until the elections around 1,000-1,500 people were in this program, we went to higher speeds, we restructured it and now there are 8,000 and more beneficiaries”.

“We took a program with very few hires. We improved it and today we have 8,000 hires in two years. It’s part of that continuous improvement and the culture that you mentioned that we try to instill every day and better, every day to see what we can do differently for to serve citizens and businesses in the best possible way,” said Mr. Protopsaltis.

Beneficiaries-employers of the existing program are public administration bodies. Indicatively, the program has included a number of NPDD, such as municipalities, regions, insurance funds, hospitals, social welfare centers, metropolises, the STASY as well as municipal enterprises from the entire territory.

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Kostis Hatzidakis, and the head of the Public Employment Service, Spyros Protopsaltis, participated in the debate.

Source: Capital

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