Unions rake in millions from unemployment schemes

Trade unions have been actively taking part in tendering processes for the provision of services for work related to unemployment and earn up to €2,400 for each person who successfully returns to work

miriam
Miriam Dalli
30 November 2016, 12:25pm
UHM chief executive Josef Vella (left) and secretary-general of the GWU Josef Bugeja (right)
UHM chief executive Josef Vella (left) and secretary-general of the GWU Josef Bugeja (right)
Trade unions have been actively taking part in tendering processes launched by the government for the provision of services for work related to unemployment and earn up to €2,400 for each person who successfully returns to work. 

Over the past couple of years, government employment agency JobsPlus launched various schemes aimed at training and helping the long-term unemployed and unskilled youths join the labour market. 

Both the UHM Voice of the Workers and the General Workers Union have won different tenders to run these schemes.

Among the schemes, the GWU runs a community work scheme – a government scheme for jobless persons. 

The union beat two other applicants, clinching the tender for €980 per participant from which it deducts administrative fees and social security contributions. 

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who held a meeting with the government on Monday to discuss the scheme, said the GWU would have a monthly surplus of circa €115 on each worker. 

A rough estimate places the GWU’s administrative fees at €110 per worker.

The unions are paid €2.1 million each for the Work Programme and €1.4 million for profiling of workers and placements.

With a record low unemployment rate of 3,000, schemes such as the Youth Guarantee and the Work Programme have proven to be key schemes for the government, along with other measures, to help cut down on unemployment figures. 

In collaboration with the private sector, JobsPlus last year launched the Work Programme Initiative (WPI) to help individuals aged 25 years and over by re-integrating them into the labour market. Operating the scheme are the UHM, the GWU and P5+, who are paid to profile and train the individuals and assist in job placement.

All three service providers were chosen following a call for tenders. Apart from the Work Programme, the UHM was also awarded the Youth Programme, which it has been running since 2014. The GWU formed part of the consortium that lost the Youth Programme bid. 

The programme is administered on behalf of JobsPlus.

Under the WPI, the providers are assisting some 1,000 persons who have been registering for work for 12 months, over two years. Each provider has between 300 to 400 persons, whom they profile for their abilities, make them attend compulsory courses, train them and then help them find a job in the private sector. 

Whilst providers are paid for every service given, they also keep receiving fees once the persons find employment, be it a part-time or a full-time job.

For the first three months that a person is in employment, the provider receives €350; if the worker remains successfully employed for a straight six months, the provider receives a further €1,000. At the end of the 12 months in employment, the provider receives €350; a further €350 on the 24th month and a final €350 after three years.

The total number of people who successfully found a job under the WPI is of around 60, with placements expected to intensify during 2017.

miriam
Miriam Dalli joined MaltaToday.com.mt in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...