Public work is an acceptable and sometimes even indispensable tool in times of crisis, Hungarian EU commissioner Laszlo Andor said in an interview published in Thursday’s regional paper Uj Dunantuli Naplo.
It is an important requirement that public workers should get into a better position than those not involved in the scheme, the commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion said.
“Public work should give them a chance to return to the labour market by acquiring real knowledge and skills that later help them find a job in the market,” he added.
In the long term, however, setting up social cooperatives in fields where the market fails to generate prosperity is a better idea, he said.
“For this reason, the European Commission recommends that Hungary should reduce the dominance of public work within pro-employment measures,” Andor said.
Interviewed after a Brussels conference that focused on poverty, the commissioner noted that back in 2010, the EU member states committed themselves to lifting 20 million people from poverty by 2020. Within that, Hungary made a commitment for a reduction of nearly half a million.
According to Eurostat statistics published in late October, the number of those endangered by poverty or social exclusion has increased from 3.051 million to 3.188 million since 2010, he said.