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Czech Rep should pay more attention to Romany employment - WB

Prague, 28.10.2008 18:39, (ROMEA)

The Czech Republic should more support employment of Romanies as more than half of Czech Romanies in productive age do not have work and are not registered at labour offices, according to a World Bank report on the employment of Romanies in the Czech Republic presented to journalists today.

In this respect, unemployment among Romanies poses an economic problem and entails considerable and unnecessary expenses, Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, WB director for central Europe and the Baltic states, told journalists.

According to the report, Czech labour offices are not very successful in supporting Romanies. The offices should react to the demands of the labour market in a better way, it says.

Experts believe that apart from high expenses, employment of Romanies should be increased due to the ageing population. If more Romanies worked in the Czech Republic, it would not have to supplement a shortage of its workforce by foreigners in such measure, the report says.

Czech Human Rights and Minorities Minister Dzamila Stehlikova said the government Agency for Social Integration that works in the socially-excluded Romany localities, established earlier this year, seeks to increase the participation of Romanies in the labour market.

"We want to end the unfortunate tradition where we have the third generation of Romanies growing up and not seeing their parents work," Stehlikova said.

Romanies are often jobless because of their low qualification and they are discouraged from further looking for work by previous failures in the search for a job, the report says.

It is mainly people from socially excluded localities who have the greatest difficulties in finding a job. According to experts, up to 40 percent of them suffer from functional illiteracy.

According to the study, 60 percent of them have basic education and 14 percent have only finished special schools for children with learning difficulties.

Schools should therefore play a bigger role in the effort to overcome Romany children's social disadvantage. The study found out that the education of Romanies not only does not grow in the next generations but even falls.

According to the study, there are 54 percent of sons with basic education per one hundred Romany fathers with secondary school education.

Debts often discourage Romanies from looking for a job. Heavily indebted people are reluctant to accept a job because distrainers could execute their income.

Experts thus recommend that the state actively increase employment among Romanies by increasing minimal remuneration for work and by labour offices' individual approach to the needs of individual disadvantageous clients.

While at present there are two hundred people per one labour office assistant, the World Bank recommends that the figure of the jobless per assistant be lowered by a half.

However, the state's effort to reduce the number of civil servants prevents an increase in the number of employees at labour offices.

CTK
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