In 2015, the opportunity to participate in the scheme was expanded to include the long-term unemployed, to enrich their knowledge and skills, acquire vocational qualifications and improve their prospects for reintegration into employment. Eligibility criteria for an unemployed person to participate included:
- being registered with the public employment services (PES) for at least six months;
- facing particularly serious difficulties in entering the labour market and being at risk of social exclusion.
Each unemployed person is entitled to one referral per year by the PES for participating at no cost in one multi-company training programme.
In February 2018 the HRDA published a study evaluating the impact of participation of the unemployed in this scheme for the period 2015 to 2016. Among the main findings were the following:
- almost half (46.6%) the participants in the scheme were employed at the time of the field research, approximately 15 months after completing their participation;
- the large majority of participants (86.2%) considered the knowledge and skills acquired by participating in the scheme useful or very useful;
- the majority (51.3%) considered that the degree of connection between current tasks and the knowledge acquired in the training programme was very good or good;
- the majority (72.4%) evaluated the degree of utilisation of the knowledge and skills acquired as good or very good;
- two in three (67.3%) considered that their participation improved their employment prospects;
- the vast majority of participants (90.2%) were either very satisfied or satisfied with the scheme and would recommend it to others (98.0%).
The positive results of the evaluation, the opportunities provided for further participation of the unemployed – as indicated by the number of training programmes available – combined with the negative factor, i.e. the low participation rate interest of the long-term unemployed, led to a recommendation to allow all registered unemployed people (regardless of unemployment duration) access to the scheme.
The HRDA’s Board of Directors accepted this recommendation, and from 1 of September 2018 all the registered unemployed can participate in the scheme.
Evaluation of the impact of the participation of the unemployed in multi-company training programmes (2015-16)
Πολυεπιχειρησιακά Προγράμματα Κατάρτισης - Συνήθη (De Minimis) [Multi-company training programmes – Standard]