Cabinet Okays Strategy to Deal with Long-term Unemployed

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Labour office. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 29 (TASR) – Inclusion of the long-term unemployed and a more targeted provision of social benefits are among the key points of a document on tackling poverty and social exclusion approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

The Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry, which drew up the paper, noted that targeted measures from the past have helped in reducing unemployment. Nonetheless, when it comes to the long-term jobless, their joining of the labour market is being frequently prevented by their lack of skills – both professional and social – and of working habits.

The ministry intends partly to resolve the situation by supporting social economy businesses in order to give an impetus to sectors and regions able to generate jobs for the long-term unemployed.

Meanwhile, the Labour Ministry wants to automatize and centralise paperwork at labour offices, thereby liberating personnel for counselling and thus bolstering individual approaches to the unemployed.

The document also stated that Slovakia has committed itself to liberating at least 170,000 people from poverty and social exclusion by 2020, with the national goal currently being met up to 95 percent.

While the state has managed to free 161,000 people from poverty, Slovakia is still struggling with some cases of extreme poverty and social exclusion concerning individuals and certain groups, striking regional disparities and structural problems on the labour market.

Nonetheless, the poverty and social exclusion rate in Slovakia is below the EU average, as it stood at 18.1 percent in 2016, while the EU average in 2015 was at 23.8 percent.