LONDON Workers at a Nijmegen wafer fab made redundant by NXP in 2009 look set to get help getting back into employment from the Europe Union.
The European Commission has approved an application for 1.8 million (about $2.3 million) from the Netherlands for assistance from the EU Globalization Adjustment Fund (EGF).
The application for 1,809,434 has also to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. It relates to 590 redundancies at NXP Semiconductors Netherlands BV that were made when the company opted to close a wafer fab at Nijmegen.
The European Commission said the market for semiconductors had been "seriously affected by the change in world trade patterns and the financial and economic crisis," which therefore made the applications suitable for support from the EGF.
The Commission noted that Europe's share of the world semiconductor market had shrunk from 14.9 percent in 2005 to 11.2 percent in 2009 and that the high value of the Euro against the U.S. dollar in 2009 created an additional comparative disadvantage for European manufacturers.
The assistance for the 512 most disadvantaged of NXP's former workers will come in the form of job identification and training. The total estimated cost is set to be 2.8 million (about $3.5 million) with the European Union providing 1.8 million of EGF assistance. The Commission did not state how quickly the European Parliament or the Council of the Europe Union would rule on the matter.
The EGF has received 66 applications on behalf of more than 70,000 worker and seeking 373.6 million (about $480 million) in assistance since the fund started operations in January 2007, the Commission said.
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