Plan to subsidize the hiring of refugees in small towns

Senan, one of the 332 towns with less than 500 inhabitants in Catalonia, is battling depopulation: in ten years it has gone from 55 to 42 registered residents.

Plan to subsidize the hiring of refugees in small towns

Senan, one of the 332 towns with less than 500 inhabitants in Catalonia, is battling depopulation: in ten years it has gone from 55 to 42 registered residents. The council of this town in the Conca de Barberà plans to opt for the subsidy program to promote the employment of migrants and refugees in these municipalities with the aim, also, of curbing depopulation.

The initiative began in 2020, following a proposal from the Associació de Micropobles, but the process has not culminated until this week with the publication in the DOG of the rules of the call.

“We started this 2022 with a pilot plan to which we allocated more than 983,000 euros to hire 30 migrants, most of them refugees, for a full-time year and provide social and labor support,” says Susana Díaz, deputy director of Politiques Actives of the SOC. The city councils, in collaboration with the different entities that support refugees and the Department of Equality and Feminism, must certify that the candidates for a job have already been granted international protection or have residence and work permits for humanitarian reasons. . Likewise, they must be registered in the SOC as job seekers.

Díaz details that the subsidy is 19,434 euros per year for each worker, which translates into a net monthly salary of one thousand euros, with twelve payments. The potential participants are 11,000 men and women who meet the conditions established by the SOC.

"The interested municipalities, about 40, must offer a job, be it in administrative tasks, as a laborer, in the municipal brigade..., and also facilitate the social rental of a home", explains Xavier Camps, responsible for action association of the Association of Small Towns of Catalonia. To achieve their full integration, the figure of the mentor is vital, as well as the technicians who will be hired to monitor these people. The objective is that, once the contract ends, they stay in these towns and contribute to curbing depopulation.

Senan, Maldà, Argençola, Llardecans, Pinós, Almatret, Esponellà or Veciana are some of the municipalities that are considering running, says Camps. Starting tomorrow the 12th and until June 10, municipalities can apply for the grant. All contracts must be formalized before next October 1. A year later, the SOC will take stock of this pilot program to determine if it addresses new calls, and if it extends them to other groups, to retain the inhabitants in the rural world.


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