Labor Ministry to use EU funding to attract more women to labor force

The inclusion of more women into the labor force and the implementation of strategies to improve skills, especially for young people, will be the two priorities of the EU-originating funding the Labor Ministry will receive for the years 2021-2027 totalling 5.6 billion euros, Minister Yiannis Vroutsis told the Greek Parliament on Tuesday.

Vroutsis was present at the discussion on draft bill that includes a bonus to families for newborn children – a 173-mln-euro program meant to support young families – and other provisions.

Greece, he said, has a very high percentage of highly skilled scientists, compared to other EU countries, who were forced to find work elsewhere. It also has a labor force with very low skills and low participation of women in the job market. There is only one way to manage this, and it’s to use the 5.6 billion euros of the funding to improve women’s participation in the labor force and job skills for all, especially young people, Vroutsis said.

Speaking of the bonus for newborns, Vroutsis responded to criticism by main opposition SYRIZA by saying that he knows the bonus will not resolve Greece’s demographics issue, but it is supported by other measures, including increasing the tax-free rates for each child and reducing VAT on products for infants.