Fabian Demicoli

GRTU welcomes uptake of EAP by 170 Gozitan Enterprises

GRTU Malta
Chamber of SMEs expresses its satisfaction that the last call of the Employment
Aid Programme (EAP) targeting Gozo was successfully taken up by Gozitan
Enterprises. The EAP is a scheme made available through the European Union
Social Funds which has in the past been very successful in creating employment
opportunities within enterprises through a part financial reimbursement
incentive.

In fact
Government is earmarking that through the Gozo call enterprises will be
creating 357 jobs, 46 of these individuals being on the employment register and
198 inactive. GRTU had heavily advertised the scheme with its Gozitan members
and encouraged them to apply. We are now pleased therefore that this joint
effort between the authorities, SME representatives and the enterprises
themselves, has so far been successful.

GRTU
also welcomes the fact that through the successful uptake of the scheme Malta
has reached its 10% target of EU funds allocated to Gozo.

In the
past unfortunately enterprises have experienced a number of bureaucratic
burdens and delays through this scheme, especially when they arrived to the
point of claiming the grant through reimbursement and being actually awarded
the reimbursement. We are however aware that Gozo scheme has been simplified
and processes have been streamlined to bring the administrative burden to a
minimum. We therefore hope that if 357 jobs will be created, the number of
reimbursements given to enterprises will be very close to this number.

GRTU
finally welcomes Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg's assurance that there will
be once again similar schemes opening not only for Gozo but also for Malta
under the next funding period. GRTU is in constant insistence with Government
that this should take place in the very near future. At that point GRTU hopes
we would have learnt from past experiences and administer such schemes in a
less bureaucratic manner and also split the reimbursement so that employers
would not have to wait till the very end to acquire the funds.

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