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Ponta Delgada ,  June 21, 2012

Pro-Emprego responded to crisis with intensity

A total of 36.7 million Euros were approved and allocated under the Pro-Emprego programme last year while the amount awarded in 2010 was of 35.9 million Euros. The average of payments made to Azorean beneficiaries reached 10 million Euros between 2007 and 2009.
The figures were presented by Rui Bettencourt, Regional Director for Labour, Vocational Training and Consumer Protection, to the Committee of the Operational Programme at a meeting held today at the Casino das Furnas, São Miguel. The information is included in the Implementation Report on Pro-Emprego for 2011.

"We are talking about nearly 40 million Euros that were invested in the Azores," said Rui Bettencourt before the Commission for Pro-Emprego and Pro-Convergência.

In 2011, over 22 thousand Azorean benefited from Pro-Emprego. For Rui Bettencourt, the figures reveal the positive impact of this Community operational programme in the Region.

Specifically, 4,408 youngsters have benefited from vocational training, which contributed to improve their employability and the qualification of staff at regional companies.

Under the Regional Employment Programme, 6,365 employees have attended the Professional Training Programme with the purpose of enhancing their skills, particularly in times of reduced activity.

Pro-Emprego also covered 1827 young trainees; their integration rate in the labour market was over 50%. "Between 2008 and 2011, the number of graduates working in the Azores increased from 8,938 to 13, 474," stressed the Regional Director.

The reconversion of unemployed covered 7,975 people, who have acquired more academic qualifications (9th or 12th form) or that have found a new job.

The employment programmes developed by the Government also included 1,898 people who were in a particular vulnerable situation.

Of the total beneficiaries of employment and qualification programme, "5487 are youngsters looking for a first job and 3486 are long-term unemployed, which makes the Azores the national region with the lowest percentage of long-term unemployed - 24% - almost half of the national average," stated Rui Bettencourt at a meeting attended by Raoul Prado, Director of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy of the European Commission.

 For the Regional Director for Labour, Professional Qualification and Consumer Protection, the Implementation Report for 2011 shows the proactive position of the Azorean Government in the face of the current economic and financial situation affecting the Azores, the country and the world . "In the event of a crisis there are three possible positions: do nothing, waiting for the crisis to pass, as there are some who believe in the regularity of crises, defending that better days will come; camouflage it with passive and disposable measures without any visible effect; or, as we defend, one can implement measures to minimise the negative effects of the crisis, support people and simultaneously provide them with tools to better prepare for economic recovery."
"We were able to notice that Pro-Emprego had predicted a range of measures that were likely to respond in any scenario. Thus, it was possible to take action promptly and with intensity," concluded Rui Bettencourt.

Moreover, it should be noted that in 2012 Pro-Emprego approved applications exceeding 42 million Euros.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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