Description

Timespan

2014-2020

Stage
No longer operational

The actions of the policy instrument have been completed.

Foundations

Policy area

According to the decision of the European Parliament on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the proposed actions constitute active labour market measures within the eligible actions set out in Article 7 of the EGF Regulation. These actions do not substitute for passive social protection measures.

Policy goal

The instrument relates to 705 workers made redundant in 46 enterprises operating in the Publishing activities sector in the region of Attica. All of them are entitled to receive support in terms of counselling, training, business consultancy, self-employment subsidy and mobility allowance. Through a series of personalised services the instrument aims to support workers that lost their jobs in publishing enterprises due to the crisis. The personalised services, which are to be provided to the redundant workers consist of the following actions: occupational guidance (recording and investigation of the needs, skills assessment, personal and occupational development procedure, conducting the individual action plan, follow-up), training and vocational training, self-employment subsidy, job-search allowance and training allowance, mobility allowance.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

The problem of skill mismatch is only conditionally mitigated by this instrument. Although the bottom-up approach of training needs identification is a precondition of effective skill anticipation, the latter has also some standards that only partially are met here (i.e. specific LMSI guidelines).

Administrative level
Regional
Main responsible body

Hellenic Management Association (EEDE) - Institute of Labour (INE GSEE)

Stakeholders

INE GSEE (Institute of the General Confederation of Labour): implementing
VET providers: implementing
National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) Task Force at the Department of Employment and Social Economy of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity: monitoring and control, programme evaluation.
The sector-based trade union ETIPTA representing the biggest segment of the target-group (workers and employees in printing industries) actively motivated its members and encouraged them to take actively part in this action.

Funding

€4,915,250 (60% EGF funds, 40% national).

Intended beneficiaries

The estimated number of redundant workers expected to participate in the measures of this instrument is 705. They all live in the Attica region and were active in the publishing sector.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Preparation - Design of the instrument: Identification of the targeted beneficiaries by age, sex, previous workplace. Implementation: Use of career counselling tools, skills assessment tools, vocational profilers, individual action plan etc. during the 25 counselling sessions. The counsellors were encouraged to provide relevant labour market information (without explicit guidelines though). Resting upon the provided information the beneficiary selected educational program and VET provider. If he/she was interested for starting a business he/she was entitled to business consulting. Business plans constituted the main tool of this activity.

Financial schemes

Training vouchers, training benefits, contribution to business start-up and job creation subsidy.

Frequency of updates

The mapping of the publishing professional activities has been determined during the preparatory phase of the instrument. The identification of the training needs was mostly part of the first counselling sessions. In the last sessions of counselling, the career professionals of the project provided information and consultancy on labour market trends in an improvised way. Some references to and recommendations of specific LSMI would help.

Development

At the beginning of the program, the strategy for the identification of the training needs of the targeted beneficiaries lacked clarity and coherence. After consultation between EEDE and INE GSEE, an identification tool with a bottom-up approach has been applied. After the first counselling sessions, the counsellors send the training demands of the beneficiaries to the coordinators. The coordinators gather the information and create inclusive educational programs, utilizing their knowledge of the labour market of the region. Until recently, most program operators were developing programs without taking into account the trainees' current needs.

Barriers

The timetable of the instrument's activities was very tight. The barriers concerned mostly the promotion of entrepreneurship through financial support. Among those who were interested in investing in entrepreneurship, only a few individuals managed to successfully apply for self-employment subsidy. Another barrier, which was successfully overcome was the initial narrow definition of the employment status of the beneficiaries. Since some of them found a job after they had applied for the program, they face the possibility of exclusion. A broader definition of the eligible employment status rendered their participation secure.

Success factors

Homogeneity of the target-groups and coherence of the program's activities improved the success of the instrument. The target group's representation from their trade union in the publishing sector (ETIPTA) was also a critical factor for the smooth operation of the program within a very tight timeframe.

Monitoring

The indicators that were used to measure progress of this EGF Action include the number of beneficiaries that completed the training, counselling, entrepreneurship and mobility actions.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The bottom-up approach in the identification of training needs could be considered as innovative. The vast majority of the beneficiaries finished their course successfully and this is related to their interest and motivation.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

No published record related to the instrument's effectiveness is available. Almost all of the beneficiaries (705 individuals) completed the counselling and training components of the instrument. The criteria and the rules related to the self-employment subsidy could be considered very strict. The competition among the training providers, who were striving for attracting beneficiaries/trainees had some positive aspects. The benefits from this open competition has to do with the supply of more learner-oriented training services adjusted to the needs of the target-group.

Engagement of stakeholders

The Ministry of Labour audited the actions that have been implemented under this instrument at the end of each separate phase. INE GSEE has delivered a coherent counselling methodology and the relevant counselling tools. EEDE provided expertise in business consultancy by guiding effectively the business consultants of the instrument. The sectoral trade union in the publishing sector (ETIPTA) was present during the discussions for the eligibility criteria regarding the participation of workers, who found a job after the program's initiation. Meetings between EDEE and INE GSEE have been organized in the beginning of each separate phase, but also ad hoc, if this was necessary.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The multiple counselling activities of the instrument, their tight connection to further activities (training, business consultancy, mobility) and the bottom-up character of training needs assessment, could be successfully transferred to other countries. The contingent presence of the sectoral trade union improved the commitment of many workers -members of the union. Finally, a certification component could critically enhance the instrument's impact on the skills recognition and validation.

Sustainability

Yes, crisis has impacted upon many sectors and industries, and such actions are targeted and usually have good results in terms of workforce upskilling in tandem with labour market needs. The synergies between business associations and trade unions can be proved critical, particularly if such instruments are associated with certification procedures.

Description

Timespan

2014-2015

Stage
No longer operational

It has been completed.

Foundations

Policy area

The aim of Local Actions Plans for Employment (TopSA) is to create jobs for the unemployed, with the activation and mobilization of local actors (through the Developmental Partnerships) throughout the country. In particular, the job positions will be created further to the diagnosis of specific needs of local communities and the enhancement of their development potential. The Local Action Plans for Employment fall under the actions of the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” (co-financed by ESF) –Thematic Priority Axis 3- Facilitating Access to Employment.

Policy goal

The policy goal is the creation of new jobs and the support of entrepreneurship at the local level. The TopSA include actions such as training and education, work based learning and apprenticeships in private enterprises in Greece or abroad, the preparation of business plans, specialised research and evaluation services for start-ups, support for legal and tax issues, etc.
The goal of TopSA is that beneficiaries are able to:
- establish their own businesses that will benefit from the characteristics of their area
- qualify for other subsidised investment programs
- develop skills that will meet the identified needs of local firms that will hire them.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

Although no explicit reference to skills mismatch has been made, the applicants (partnerships consisted of local agencies, VET providers, NGOs, trade unions, employer organizations, chambers, CSOs) should submit specific labour market information supporting the relevance of the suggested training courses in tandem with the local labour market needs.

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
Local
Main responsible body

Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity

Stakeholders

Monitoring, funding and controlling - 13 intermediary Administrative Units of the Regional Operational Programmes (ROP)
Implementing - OAED (Public Employment Service), Municipalities, Employers' associations, Trade unions, NGOs, Universities & research units, VET companies
Advising & consulting as observer - Transnational partners

Funding

Operational Program “Human Resources Development” 2007-2013: €80.000.000,00 (ESF: 75%, national funds: 25%)

Intended beneficiaries

30,000 individuals with a special focus on young scientists and low-income individuals employed in agriculture.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Each applicant (partnerships of local authorities, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, VET providers, social cooperatives) should provide evidence based information on the local labour market demands. A dully completed application form should make explicit references to indicators and instruments such as a) unemployment rates, b) information on local business activity by sector, size, type of activity, c) SWOT analysis that can support the need for the specific training program suggested by the partners. Additionally, the beneficial consortia should deliver a local labour market study that would integrate data collected from local and regional authorities, PES, ELSTAT, business organizations, chambers, trade unions and consultancy firms. The same processes were used in other policy instruments such as TOPEKO.

Financial schemes

The applicants (Developmental Partnerships) received financing in order to support beneficiaries from the target-populations. The selected beneficiaries were subsidised for their participation in the training activities of each action. After the completion of the programme, the Ministry of Labour launched a subsidy program for enterprises to hire TOPSA and TOPEKO beneficiaries.

Frequency of updates

Each approved action under the TOPSA program has delivered a local labour market study, which has been evaluated after the action's implementation.

Development

The strict and inflexible timeframe of the implementation of the TOPSA initiatives was changed after the first 12 months of its operation. The Ministry of Labour has also issued new programs that gave financial incentives to the employers, in order to hire the beneficiaries of TOPSA and TOPEKO initiatives.

Barriers

The shortage of central LMSI tools was critical, since the data provided by national or regional authorities could not support an analysis at the local level. Most studies were descriptive and rested upon the data of the 2011 census.

Success factors

The synergies among local authorities, NGOs, social partners, trade unions, employers' associations, chambers and universities, has improved the success of the instrument.

Monitoring

The creation of new jobs was a critical indicator of the TOPSA initiatives. The 13 intermediary administrative units of the Regional Operational Programs that coordinated the actions under this programme, assessed the promotion to employment or entrepreneurship for each one of the TOPSA actions, and adjusted the final payments to the applicants (Developmental Partnerships) according to the employment results (had the minimum goal of promoting 20% of the beneficiaries to employment not been achieved, a respective penalty for the Developmental Partnership would be activated).

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The focus of the initiative on young scientists, higher education graduates and low-income individuals employed in agriculture with the aim to provide effective career guidance and relevant training can be considered as innovative.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The instrument has been operated and monitored by the 13 Regional authorities. No aggregate data has been generated at national level. However, as the data from 4 case-studies (projects) has revealed, labour market studies were descriptive and rested upon the data of the 2011 census. There were attempts to connect the upskilling processes of the projects (training, counselling) with labour market needs in skills and professions, as it is apparent from these projects, but this hardly ensured a coherent methodology and responsiveness.

Engagement of stakeholders

TOPSA follows a bottom-up philosophy at all stages of planning, design and implementation and involve different levels of government, local institutions and stakeholders, as well as the target groups, through processes of social dialogue and collaborative approach. In this respect, local partnerships, known as “Development Partnerships”, are responsible for the implementation of all projects undertaken in this framework. Development Partnerships consist of members of regional and local community, businesses, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations and institutions of civil society, who decide to join forces, skills and experience to jointly implement a comprehensive intervention in local level. The specificities of each action's stakeholders' coordination meetings are described in detail in each of the approved Action Plan.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The presence of a skills diagnosis mechanism operating both at national and regional level would maximize the social impact of this instrument. The career counselling and training activities can be effective only if relevant, accurate and credible labour market information is available at national, regional and local level. At the time of the TOPSA projects' implementation, no such context had been achieved yet.

Sustainability

Not really. It has been assessed as a practice with low impact on the employment of the target population (unemployed).

Description

Timespan

2007-2013

Stage
No longer operational

It has been completed and followed by another similar program.

Foundations

Policy area

The Primary Objective of the development strategy of the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development 2007-2013” is the utilisation of all human resources as a moving force for the country’s growth and the reinforcement of social cohesion through actions that aim to activate socially vulnerable groups with specific support, networking, consultancy, training and counselling activities.

Policy goal

The aim of the Local actions for vulnerable groups (TOPEKO) is to contribute towards the integration or re-integration of unemployed people belonging to socially vulnerable groups, through a broad set of actions that cover additional needs of different beneficiaries with a special emphasis on their employment or entrepreneurial perspectives. The actions aim to mobilise local actors to create jobs and at the same time facilitate a versatile and effective preparation of unemployed beneficiaries to:
- cover job positions of existing businesses
- start a business that will benefit from the characteristics of their area
- gain qualifications to benefit from other investment programs
- acquire skills that will meet real and identified needs of local businesses that will hire them

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

Although no explicit reference to skills mismatch has been made, the applicants (partnerships consisted of local agencies, VET providers, NGOs, trade unions, employer organizations, chambers, CSOs) should submit specific labour market information supporting the relevance of the suggested training courses in tandem with the local labour market needs.

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity/Managing Authority for Social Inclusion and Social Economy

Stakeholders

OAED (Public Employment Service): implementing
Municipalities: implementing
Employers' associations: implementing
Trade unions: implementing
NGOs: implementing
Universities & research units: implementing
Transnational partners: advising & consulting as observer
VET companies: implementing

Funding

Operational Program “Human Resources Development” 2007-2013: €60,000,000 (ESF: 75%, national funds: 25%).

Intended beneficiaries

12.000 individuals participated. The right to participate belonging to the socially vulnerable groups below:
- Long-term unemployed aged over 45 with low qualifications
- People with Disabilities
- Female victims of domestic violence
- Trafficking victims
- Parent families
- Immigrants, refugees
- People with religious and cultural differences in poverty/risk of poverty
- Asylum seekers
- Released prisoners
- Former drug users
- Seropositive
- Homeless
- People in poverty/risk of poverty
- People subject to discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Studies on local labour markets have been delivered by each applicant of the program. The applicants (partnerships consisted of local agencies, VET providers, NGOs, trade unions, employer organizations, chambers, CSOs) conducted a survey (relying mostly in secondary data) pinpointing the need to support specific social vulnerable groups (beneficiaries) through counselling and training activities in VET areas that corresponded to the local labour market needs.
More specifically each applicant (partnerships of local authorities, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, VET providers, social cooperatives) should provide evidence based information on the local labour market demands. A dully completed application form should make explicit references to indicators and instruments such as a) unemployment rates; b) information on local business activity by sector, size, type of activity; c) SWOT analysis that can support the need for the specific training program suggested by the partners. Additionally, the beneficial consortia should deliver a local labour market study that would integrate data collected from local and regional authorities, PES, ELSTAT, business organizations, chambers, trade unions and consultancy firms.

Financial schemes

Training benefits for the individuals and subsidies based on calls for the enterprises that will hire beneficiaries of the program.

Frequency of updates

Each approved action under the TOPEKO program has delivered a local labour market study, which has been evaluated after the action's implementation.

Development

There was a major issue concerning the unemployment benefits of the target-groups. Initially the selected beneficiaries (unemployed) should inform PES about their new status as trainees, and PES should cancel their unemployment card. This led to reluctance and low motivation in the target-groups. The partnerships collaborated with the Ministry of Labour and the PES and ended up with a solution: the beneficiaries suspended their card for those months that they participated to the programme. After the completion of the programme, their card was activated again and they did not lose their months of unemployment.

Barriers

The shortage of central LMSI tools was critical, since the data provided by national or regional authorities could not support an analysis at the local level. Most studies were descriptive and rested upon the data of the 2011 census.

Success factors

The synergies among local authorities, NGOs, social partners, trade unions, employers' associations, chambers and universities, has improved the success of the instrument. TOPEKOs are result-oriented, as the payment of the grant is directly linked to the employment of all the beneficiaries, either by setting up their own business, or by assisting the further development of existing businesses. To this end, TOPEKOs have placed emphasis on the potential of social economy, through the establishment of sustainable social co-operatives. These projects receive 100% of the grant by providing jobs and retaining them for at least three months, otherwise the amount of repayment is proportional to the percentage of job creation.

Monitoring

Credibility of the local labour market analysis
Rating of the importance of the problem anticipated in the proposed action/project. Responsiveness to the problems and developmental advantages of the area of intervention. Coverage of the target-groups' needs.
Contribution of the action in the labour market, inclusiveness and the entrepreneurship support at the local level.
Budget realism in relation to the physical object.
Timeframe realism.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The focus on socially vulnerable groups and the commitment to their employment perspectives through training and counselling actions has been accompanied with raising awareness at the local level, mostly aiming at shifting employers' and local society's attitudes in favour of the target-groups. This intervention in both levels, had innovative elements and in many cases undermined stereotypes that hampered the employability of certain vulnerable groups.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

Estimations based on the EYSEKT evaluation: 17.4% of the beneficiaries (individuals from socially vulnerable groups) who participate in TOPEKO actions are in employment or entrepreneurship within six months after his/her involvement in the action.

Engagement of stakeholders

TOPEKO follows a bottom-up philosophy at all stages of planning, design and implementation, and involve different levels of government, local institutions and stakeholders, as well as the target groups, through processes of social dialogue and collaborative approach. In this respect, local partnerships, known as “Development Partnerships”, are responsible for the implementation of all projects undertaken in this framework. Development Partnerships consist of members of local community, businesses, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations and institutions of civil society, who decide to join forces, skills and experience to jointly implement a comprehensive intervention in local level. The specificities of each action's stakeholders' coordination meetings are described in detail in the approved Action Plan.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The presence of a skills diagnosis mechanism operating both at national and regional level would maximize the social impact of this instrument. Apart from the very important socio-psychological support that TOPEKO provided to socially vulnerable groups, the career counselling and training activities can be effective only if accurate and credible labour market information is available at national, regional and local level. At the time of the TOPEKO projects implementation, no such context had been achieved yet.

Sustainability

Not really. It has been assessed as a practice with low impact on the employment of the target population (vulnerable groups).

Description

Timespan

2014-2020

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The system of training vouchers provide flexible training opportunities for unemployed. The level of personal responsibility is higher with this measure, since the individual is free to choose its own course in cooperation with the counsellor.

Policy goal

The Training Voucher program aims to achieve a structured path for the entry of unemployed people into the labour market, which will potentially lead to a placement in the private sector of the economy. The action aims at the empowerment and the upgrade of the skills of the unemployed adults aged 29-64, through a combination of training, internship, counselling and certification. Through the matchings between learners and companies, the action aspires to generate new jobs after the programme’s lifetime. Thus, hosting companies are encouraged to utilize other actions of subsidising labour in order to hire the interns after their internship.

Mismatch
Part of broad policy measure of which skill mismatch is only a minor part

Although no explicit reference to skills mismatch has been made, the beneficiary (receiver of vouchers) had to consult with a career counsellor and together decide which thematic area (specialty) fits to his/her needs, taking into account the local labour market needs too (secondary data accessed by the counsellor).

Aim of policy instrument
Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity

Stakeholders

Ministry of Labour: funding and evaluation
National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP): monitoring and control
Public Employment Service (OAED): implementation
Certification agencies (private sector bodies): implementation
VET providers (private sector companies): implementation
Guidance counsellors (physical persons either freelancers or employed by the VET companies).

Funding

€89,000,000 in total. O.P. "Human Resource Development, Education & Lifelong Learning", with funds from Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund).

Intended beneficiaries

Unemployed people aged 29-64 (23,000 in total).

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

During the preparatory phase of the action, the Managing Authority used a Methodology for the identification of sectors and professions that should be prioritized. The methodological guide has been created by the Employment Agency of the Ministry of Labour. The counsellors meeting the criteria of expertise, experience, training are supposed to play a critical role in guiding the beneficiary in his/her selection of specialty and educational program, by using a specific methodology of vocational profiling. The career professionals of the Action are encouraged to seek for labour market information in EOPPEP's site, in the context of the first counselling session.

Financial schemes

Training Voucher system: each trainee is entitled to a subsidy of €2,600 for the period of theoretical and on-the job training.

Frequency of updates

The LMSI content has been determined at the initial stage of this policy initiative, when the cutting edge industries have been identified. No further update has been made.

Development

The major adjustment that was made during the implementation of the 2015-2017 initiatives under the voucher system concerns the role of the VET providers and the ways that the beneficiaries selected them in a context of open competition. Another adjustment concerns the certification procedures that have been introduced. After the completion of the theoretical training, the beneficiaries should attest their knowledge through the certification exams organized by the accreditation bodies of the private sector.

Barriers

Not identified so far.

Success factors

The action is on-going. No impact assessment has been made yet.

Monitoring

An ongoing evaluation has been envisaged. The indicators include the number of people who benefitted from the voucher, completing the counselling, training and certification stages of the program.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

The innovation compared to previous Voucher system initiatives concerns the determination of the criteria for the career counsellors, who will be employed in the project (criteria of expertise, experience, training). Until recently, the VET providers could deliver the counselling sessions without employing specialised and experienced professionals. The methodology for the identification of cutting edge professions and skills is also innovative.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The action is on-going. No impact assessment has been made yet.

Engagement of stakeholders

Through the relevant Call, the conditions of the engagement of the stakeholders and the role of the Ministry in the policy are settled. In particular, there is a description of the auditing and evaluation processes and communication actions with the engagement of the stakeholders.

Transferability
Easily transferable

Training Vouchers can be easily transferred as instruments of active labour market policies. The action under scrutiny focuses on sectors and professions with good prospects in terms of job growth and career opportunities. The methodology that the Ministry of Labour has utilized is an element that could also be shared.

Sustainability

Although the impact of the training voucher system in job creation and anticipation in skills shortages has been debated, the system continues to be attractive for policy makers and key stakeholders (Ministry of Labour, social partners, VET providers).