Tobacco is the single largest avoidable health risk in the EU, accounting for nearly 700 000 premature deaths each year. Around 50% of smokers die prematurely (on average 14 years earlier). This initiative is an example of how EU funds can be used to help former tobacco farmers and workers to find a new job and mitigate the social impacts of career change.
The European Commission has proposed providing Austria with €3.9 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help 270 workers made redundant by Austria Tabak GmbH and by 14 suppliers and downstream producers. The bulk of this fund will be used to help reintegrate these farmers back into the labour market.
The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers for approval.
The package is designed to help these workers by offering them career advice, job search assistance, job mentoring, various types of training and qualification measures, including vocational training in higher technical and vocational schools. The programme includes internships in enterprises, practical on-the-job training, intensive support for workers aged over 50, as well as subsistence allowances during the training and active job search.
The total estimated cost of the package is approximately €6 million, of which the EGF would provide €3.9 million.
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