New scheme for 75,000 jobs starts in January

Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced on Thursday a new government initiative, to apply from January 2014, that will offer 75,000 new jobs for young people.

In the context of the government’s efforts to combat unemployment, which among young people aged up to 24 years old has climbed to almost three-in-five, Vroutsis said that with the new package of European Union structural funds, due to arrive next year, “we are launching the first major assault on unemployment.”

Addressing the National Growth Conference of the European Social Fund for the 2014-2020 funding period, Vroutsis said that “this is a significant opportunity and in 2014 we will start with 75,000 new jobs, giving a chance to young people.”

The minister explained that the new program will be partly financed by the European Social Fund, from a budget of 4 billion euros. “Some 20 percent of that will be devoted to combatting social exclusion, while another large part will target youth unemployment,” Vroutsis said. “We have to restore young people’s contact with the labor market, as we are seeing the most vibrant part of our society witnessing its future becoming undermined.”

Vroutsis went on to highlight the improvements recorded in the labor market within 2013 that stem not only from the electronic database of hirings and sackings (Ergani), but also from the data of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the Labor Inspection Squad (SEPE).

“According to data on employment trends in the first four months of 2013, we have had an increase in the number of hirings by 25 percent and a reduction in the number of dismissals by 2 percent on an annual basis, with 52,500 more new jobs having been created this year compared to the same period in 2012,” the minister said.