EC clears training aid 57 mln euros worth for Ford Romania

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The European Commission (EC) has cleared on Wednesday, based on the EU norms ruling the state aid and, under some conditions, up to 57 million euros in state aid to train staff planned by Ford Romania SA.

The aid backs the company plan to offer an ample training project for current and future workers employed by Craiova-based (south) car maker. The training project is addressed to a total number of 9,000 workers on a five-year period. The overall training programme cost is of approximately 185 million euros, of which the company is to finance approximately 128 million euros.

The commission assessed that the state aid is in conformity with the EU norms on training aid because it is aimed to redress some verified market dysfunctions, respectively insufficient investments for training and because it is adequate as a policy instrument. The aid has a proved boosting effect and it is limited to the covering of 50 percent of the eligible costs of general training and respectively 25 percent of the eligible costs of specific training.

Despite that, in order to guarantee that the value of this aid corresponds to the effective training spending, that the effects on competition are minimal and that the staff integrally benefit of the acquired competence through this training programme, the commission set conditions on the payment of the aid, reporting and monitoring.

“The proposed aid supports an ambitious training project expected to produce positive effects for the employees of the Craiova plant, for regional development and for the company in general. Nevertheless, I imposed strict conditions, to be assured that the aid fulfills the set goals and does not create unjustified distortion of the competition ,” European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

Ford Romania SA plans to provide an extended and personalized training programme for the current and future staff of Craiova plant. Up to 9,000 employees will benefit of an in-depth training in various fields as, for instance, security, foreign languages, IT, business management basis and general industrial competence.
The company is to integrally finance from its own funds the part of the training programme directly linked to own production activities and of labor safety requirements derived from EU legislation and the Romanian one. The aid is given for the part of the training programme aimed at an added, in-depth, competence for Craiova plant workers.

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