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18/12/2017  
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EMPLOYMENT
EU job-search aid

€3.5 million for 1,000 former Microsoft workers in Finland


EU job-search aid worth more than €3.5 m for 1,000 redundant workers in Western and Southern Finland was approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The resolution by rapporteur Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI), recommending that €3,520,080 be released from the EGF, was passed by 600 votes to 83, with 9 abstentions.
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Most of the jobs lost at  Microsoft Mobile Oy were  in the Helsinki-Uusimaa, Länsi-Suomi and Etelä-Suomi regions. In all 1,248 workers were made redundant, 1,000 of whom are expected to receive financial and/or vocational assistance.
 
The Microsoft Windows operating system’s global market share declined, while the competitors’ operating systems, like Android and iOS (Apple), increased their market share. Although “Microsoft Mobile launched new mobile devices and invested into design, components and marketing”, it could not beat its competitors’ offer of cheaper hardware and operating system products, MEPs note.
 
MEPs also underline that “the redundancies are linked to the shift of manufacturing of mobile devices to lower wage countries.”
 
Finland applied for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid on 1 February 2017 and the Council of Ministers approved it on 17 July 2017.
 
Parliament had already approved  €5.3 million to help find new jobs for 1,441 workers made redundant by Microsoft and its suppliers in Finland in October 2016 and €2.6 million for 821 former “Nokia Network Systems” workers in May 2017.
The measures co-financed by the EGF help redundant workers by providing career coaching and individual guidance, employment and business services, various vocational training schemes, services for new entrepreneurs and start-up grants, hiring incentives, training-related allowances, subsidies and contributions towards removal costs. The Fund’s annual ceiling is €150 million.

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