BUSINESS

Training subsidies remain unpaid for years

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Finance

The delays in state payments of the subsidies due to companies for their internal training programs funded through the Account for Employment and Professional Training (LAEK), to which every enterprise contributes 0.24 percent of the annual salaries of its employees, now reach up to three years.

It is estimated that a total of 15,000-20,000 enterprises and 150,000 workers are currently participating in the two programs run by the Manpower Organization (OAED). However, the economic crisis, bureaucratic and technical problems, as well as inherent difficulties in the nature of the programs, which involve a variety of entities in a labyrinthine process, have all led to extraordinary delays.

The result of the above is that the state is today only just getting round to paying out the subsidies due for training programs completed in 2013.

The victims of these delays are the entrepreneurs (who, along with the subsidies, expect the LAEK programs to help their employees gain the skills to make their enterprises more innovative and competitive), the workers themselves (who are forced to wait years for their share of the subsidies), and the LAEK account (which has been threatened with cuts throughout the financial crisis).

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