Schlecker closure means hefty bill for jobs agency
Published: 15 Jun 12 14:04 CET | Print version
Germany's Federal Employment Agency (BA) has paid out €133 million since drug-store chain Schlecker filed for bankruptcy and will face further costs as it helps 25,000 people affected by the closure, a newspaper reported on Friday.
BA board member Raimund Becker told daily newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he “would make sure each case was treated individually and no-one would be forced to do anything.”
Becker was keen to stress the BA had access to enough money to look after any ex-Schlecker employee needing help. So far the state agency has paid over €133 million in insolvency payments and unemployment benefits.
He told the paper that there was no sign of the agency needing to resort to a special support programme.
Germany's job market is stable enough to support the thousands of workers - most of whom are women - now looking for a new job, Becker told the paper. “Especially because most of them hold professional qualifications.”
Ex-employees would have the strongest chances of finding jobs in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein, he said.
Becker believes Labour Minister's Ursua von der Leyen's plan to retrain workers as child care assistants would both help to fill a gap in the country's kindergartens and provide Schlecker staff with jobs.
However, a gap in funding could become an issue, as BA says it can only fund two of the three year child care training program. Discussions are underway to find financing for the third year.
If a solution is found, it would give the BA more room to recruit people to fill positions in kindergartens, said Becker.
Around 14,000 Schlecker employees will be let go by the end of July and 11,000 are already out of a job. From those who have already lost their job, 3,600 have registered as unemployed.
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