Unemployment has been among the top three concerns of Spaniards for years, according to the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS). The officially registered unemployed in Spain now number almost three million, and households with all their members unemployed have once again exceeded one million, according to the January Labour Force Survey (EPA).
The Church in Spain tries to alleviate the plight of the most vulnerable and excluded people in various ways. Now, Spanish Caritas has resolved the call corresponding to 2023 of the Operational Program for Social Inclusion and Social Economy (POISES), co-financed by the European Social Fund, and endowed with a total budget of 10,063,536.02 euros.
The recipients of this program are mainly "people with very low qualifications and who require, especially after the pandemic, digital skills, for example; long-term unemployed, people with little work experience, women often alone, and immigrants with residence permits. In other words, people must be in a regular situation, or in the process of becoming so," Mar de Santiago, a technician in the Caritas Española Solidarity Economy team, explains to Omnes.
59 Diocesan Caritas employment programs
Of this significant volume of resources, 4.9 million euros will be allocated to accompanying people in their search for employment, helping them to improve their skills and search techniques and intermediating with companies (social and labor market insertion itineraries).
Another 4.3 million will be devoted to training actions to improve their labor qualification; while 838,000 euros will go to social economy projects, mainly insertion companies, whose purpose is to offer employment and improve the training of people at risk of social exclusion.
These resources, which are part of the POISES 2020-23 call for proposals and whose development is coordinated through the Caritas Española Solidarity Economy team, support the employment, training and social economy programs of 59 diocesan Caritas throughout Spain.
Social and labor insertion and training
The 10 million euros will be allocated to 50 social and labor insertion itineraries, 220 training courses and 25 Caritas insertion companies.
The objective set by Caritas for 2023 through this Operational Program will allow the accompaniment of around 5,000 participants in social and labor insertion itineraries, 2,600 in training actions and 200 more in insertion companies.
"The resources of the European Social Fund that Cáritas has been managing since 2000 support access to the labor market for groups at risk of social exclusion and highlight employment as the best way to move towards personal autonomy and inclusion," adds Ana Sancho, from the Caritas Española Solidarity Economy team.
The POISES program has been implemented since 2016 with support from the European Social Fund. In our country it is implemented under the responsibility of the Spanish government through the ESF Administrative Unit of the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security.
Natalia PeiroCaritas Secretary General, recently stated that "it is essential that we all become aware of the importance of taking vulnerable individuals and families into account in the design, monitoring and evaluation of public policies".