Slovak Labour Minister Viera Tomanová and her Austrian counterpart Rudolf Hundstorfer met on December 15 to discuss help for disadvantaged jobseekers on the labour market through so-called social businesses.
Austria is regarded as having good long-term experience with this form of employment, which is intended to help the long-term unemployed and disadvantaged re-enter the jobs market. The Austrian Labour Ministry even covers part of the operating costs of social businesses. There appears to be less opposition to social companies in Austria than in Slovakia. Economists and opposition parties in Slovakia have criticised the government for the way social companies have been set up, saying that the benefits they enjoy distort competition and encourage cronyism.
Hundstorfer said that the goal of social businesses in Austria is, in particular, to provide disadvantaged jobseekers with six to 12 months of training. The success rate of placing social business employees on the labour market following accomplishment of their training is above 50 percent, SITA reported.
Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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16. Dec 2009 at 10:00