Employment policy agreement in Andalucia

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On 21 April 1997, trade unions, employers' associations and the Government of Andalucia signed an Agreement on employment policy and economic development for Andalucia. This is the third tripartite agreement to be reached in this region. It covers a period of two years (1997-8) and involves an investment of about ESP 200 billion .

On 21 April the unions, UGT and CC.OO, the Andalucian employers' association, CEA (Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Andalucia), and the Andalucian Regional Government signed an Agreement on employment policy and economic development for Andalucia (Pacto por el Empleo y por el Desarrollo Económico de Andalucí), which will remain in force for two years (1997-8). This is the third tripartite agreement to be reached in this region.

The agreement provides for an investment of about ESP 200 billion. This figure represents a 35% increase in funding over the previous agreement (1995-6). Much of this investment - ESP 80 billion - will be targeted on active employment policies, which is the item showing the greatest increase. This item includes occupational training (ESP 50 billion ), programmes to support job creation (ESP 29 billion ) and labour mediation (ESP 600 million). Within the programmes to support employment, measures to stimulate the creation of secure employment have been reinforced because so far they have not been very effective. The agreement thus provides for subsidies of ESP 300,000 to ESP 700,000 for the conclusion of permanent contracts.

Measures to promote entrepreneurial activity are similar to those contained in previous agreements: stimulating the creation and maintenance of companies, commercial promotion of Andalucian products and support for research and development activities. The allocation for this is about ESP 57 billion, a figure similar to that in the 1995-6 agreement.

Finally, the agreement provides for funding to support production sectors, especially for the promotion of public housing and land policies.

This agreement was reached at a time of economic growth throughout Andalucia. In 1995 and 1996 this region registered a higher growth rate (6.5%) than the Spanish average and created 125,000 jobs. The signatories of the agreement all stress that the climate of social consensus in Andalucia has favoured this growth in the economy and in employment, and they trust that this dynamic situation will continue over the next few years.

The recent national agreement on labour reform between unions and employers (ES9704207N) was also taken into account. The Andalucian agreement reinforces the measures to support secure employment contracts precisely at the moment that similar measures are being adopted at a national level. Thus, on signing the new agreement, the President of the Andalucian Government and the unions agreed that "there are no longer excuses for not creating secure employment".

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