With the latest figures showing that unemployment has dropped to 19 pct and signs that this reduction is both stable and permanent, the government is very close to realising its forecasts for a 10 percentage point drop in unemployment rates during its four-year term, Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou said on Friday.
Talking to the radio station "Sto Kokkino 105.5 FM", the minister also referred to the ministry's new programmes targeting 88,500 unemployed and said that one new element was the support that some of these provided to highly-qualified young people, guaranteeing salaries far above the minimum wage.
As an example, she cited subsidies given to businesses in specific industrial sectors, decided under the new strategic development plans, which would receive 800 euros per month to cover half the payroll costs of each subsidised worker.
"This means that businesses can give wages of the order of 1,600 euros [per month] to a young scientist. We are now creating jobs of annual duration that can bring in salaries much higher than the basic wage," she said, noting that the specific programme targeted 10,000 young people employed in the private sector.
A similar programme in the public sector would provide 5,500 unemployed young people with monthly salaries of 1,200 euros to carry out projects that would bring multiple benefits, such as digitising the records of those insured by the EFKA state insurance agency, she added.
In the meantime, the ministry is continuing to implement a mix of programmes for the longterm unemployed that are older and have few qualifications, as well as training programmes for young people without skills, she said.