Layoff scheme saves 15 000 jobs

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cape Town - Government's training layoff scheme has managed to save more than 15 000 workers from retrenchment since the scheme was introduced to companies last year.

Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, said of the R6.1 billion allocated to the fund, more than R1.1 billion has been approved for companies that had applied. He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday during his budget vote address.

The scheme was announced by President Jacob Zuma last year in which he announced several interventions to assist recession-hit companies.

Patel said through the effort, companies like BMW had used the scheme to place over 1 100 workers, who otherwise could have been retrenched, for training opportunities in a variety of skills.

He said after a pilot phase, the programme will now be rolled out more actively adding that last week a company that employs 1 500 workers applied to be placed on the training lay off facility.

The department plans to generate about R2 billion worth of financing for small business and companies in distress.