Monchique, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo, Alcoutim and Castro Marim; these are the municipalities of the Algarve covered by the government’s new +CO3SO program as part of the “Working in the Interior” programme, which provides support of up to 4827 euros for those who want to move away from the country’s larger cities and tourist-invaded coast.
In addition to these five municipalities, the Algarvean parishes of São Marcos da Serra, Ameixial, Alte, Salir, Querença, Tôr and Benafim, Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, and Cachopo will benefit from this programme also.In Alentejo, with the exception of Sines, all municipalities are covered by the incentive measures.
According to Notícias ao Minuto, which cites a source from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the municipalities and parishes covered are the same as those that are part of the National Program for Territorial Cohesion. This new investment-promoting measure is thought to be coming into force soon, within in the first quarter of the year.
The Government, in a note published on its official page, explains that the “Work in the Interior” program “aims to support and encourage the geographical mobility of workers to the interior territories. Through a set of incentives and financial support, the Government intends to encourage the settlement of people in these territories”. One of the incentives will be “Interior Employment MAIS”, which will provide an initial support of up to 4,827 euros for workers who decide to move to the interior.
In addition to this measure, professional internships that take place in the interior will offer better scholarships, with an increase of 10 percent in the amount offer by scholarships through the IEFP, as well as an increase of 20% in the employment bonus individuals receive upon conversion of the internship contract into a regular job contract.
In terms of Vocational Training for jobs, the rules governing the minimum number of students per course will be relaxed, and 13 new qualification centres in the interior will be opened.
In a note published on its website, the Government adds that the “Work in the Interior” program “also boasts a policy to support the return of emigrants, foreseen under the ‘Return’ Program, which will now include a 25% salary increase for workers who are emigrants returning to Portugal and who go to work in interior territories”.
To facilitate the change those who decide to participate in the program will experience, the “Living in the Interior” programme will also be launched in parallel, aiding in the development of local and regional support networks for the dissemination and implementation of “key in hand” campaigns, which will encourage municipal pilot projects aimed at leasing homes at more affordable costs.
Additionally, the push will be complemented by the +CO3SO Employment Program, which “aims to support employment and entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship, by supporting the creation of jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social economy entities” . This programme will mobilize 240 million euros of European funds from the Regional Operational Programs, more than half of which will go to interior territories, and create more than 3,800 new jobs.
The value of the funds to be put out to tender by the Regional Operational Programs and Compete 2020 comes to 186 million euros, with the Government foreseeing a total investment of 465 million and the direct creation of 424 jobs.
The Government also announced the creation of +CO3SO Knowledge, a program “focused on the activities and processes of companies and entities in the scientific and technological industry, supported by dynamics installed in the interior territories” and + CO3SO Digital, “focused on modernization and increasing efficiency in the sectors of agrifood, health, tourism, automobiles, among others, based on emerging digital technologies (artificial intelligence, large databases, robotic systems, or the use of sensors for data collection)”.