Italy receives an extra €1.5 billion under REACT-EU to hire more young people and women, improve the skills of workers and jobseekers, and support Italy’s economic recovery. These funds will be made available in addition to the previous €4.5 billion disbursed for similar support under Italy’s national operational programme “Active employment policies” funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) originally proposed in September 2021.
The new funding will support:
- Job creation in southern regions: €1.2 billion allow a 30% reduction of social security contributions due by small businesses for their workers in the regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia. To be eligible, the companies must employ the workers for at least nine months after the reduction has been requested.
- Youth employment: €139.1 million go towards reducing the social security contributions due by employers who hire people under 36 with open-ended contracts during the year of 2022. Over 48,000 young people are expected to benefit from this measure.
- Recruitment of women: €88.5 million to reduce (by up to €6,000 per year) the social security contributions due by employers who hire women during the year of 2022. More than 54,000 women are expected to benefit from this measure.
- Green and digital skills training: almost €280,000 from the ‘New Skills Fund’ compensate the hours during which staff attend trainings to acquire new green and digital skills. More than 5,700 companies are expected to benefit from this measure.
With the additional €1.5 billion adopted, Italy will receive in total €14.4 billion under REACT-EU to boost Italy’s recovery and facilitate investments in the green and digital transition.
As part of NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU provides a top-up of €50.6 billion (in current prices) over the course of 2021 and 2022 to the 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy programmes of all Member States. Measures focus on supporting labour market resilience, jobs, small and medium-sized businesses and low-income families. Measures also lay a future-proof foundation for the green and digital transition and a sustainable socio-economic recovery.
To host and integrate people fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Commission has also paid €3.5 billion of pre-financing payments to Member States under REACT-EU since March 2022. The most recent comprehensive package ‘Flexible Assistance to Territories (FAST-CARE)‘ offers further flexibility in Cohesion Policy funding while also increasing pre-financing payments by an additional €3.5 billion to be paid in 2022 and 2023. The final date of eligibility for REACT-EU expenditures is 31 December 2023.
The REACT-EU funds complement the resources Italy receives from the Recovery and Resilience Facility to boost Italy’s economic recovery post-pandemic.
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With this fresh funding, small companies, young people and women in Italy will be given new opportunities. This is a prime example of the EU supporting its Member States by providing incentives to employers, and enabling training for workers. Measures such as the ones supported under this REACT-EU proposal will help Italy’s companies and workers to keep pace with the rapidly changing labour market.
Source – EU Commission