‘Unemployed tourism workers to work in homes and daycare centers’, says Costa
“Many of the thousands of people who are currently losing their jobs in the tourism sector are people who already have basic training, they are people who already have personal care experience, who are a fundamental and trained resource that can be easily converted to continue working with people, now in” a different sort of institution, stated prime-minister António Costa this Wednesday afternoon.
img decoding=”async” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/101tourism-workers.jpg” alt=”101tourism workers” width=”160″ height=”107″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />“Many of the thousands of people who are currently losing their jobs in the tourism sector are people who already have basic training, they are people who already have personal care experience, who are a fundamental and trained resource that can be easily converted to continue working with people, now in” a different sort of institution, stated prime-minister António Costa this Wednesday afternoon.
The plan was put forward by Costa at a ceremony in the headquarters of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity where, with Minister Ana Mendes Godinho at his side, he launched phase 3.0 of the PARES program (Program for the Expansion of the Social Equipment Network). Standing side by side with the Minister of Labor and Solidarity, Costa made a point of expressing his thanks for everything that has been done in the care sector in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mendes Godinho had placed herself in the centre of a small political storm this weekend following an interview with the Expresso newspaper in which she acknowledged that she had not read an urgent notice written to her from the Order of Doctors regarding a care home in Reguengos de Monsaraz, where coronavirus infection lead to 18 people being killed.
Ana Mendes Godinho also spoke of the current effects of COVID-19 in homes, claiming “it is not too big” of an issue, stressing that she was more concerned with structural issues in the management of homes than with concrete virus cases.
António Costa, who at today’s ceremony extended his thanks to Mendes Godinho’s team referred to the “very quick” way in which the ministry worked, thanking them for their “commitment” to this task. The Head of Government also thanked the way the IPSS (Social Solidarity Institution, responsible for overseeing social aid programs involving care homes) in general reacted and the effort made to reduce the effects of COVID-19 within the sector, especially considering that many institutions work with a high risk group, the elderly.
At the ceremony, Costa announced 110 million euros for the next phase of his social care program. At the end of his speech, he called for institutions that work with the elderly to be “increasingly demanding” in compliance with health safety rules. “The virus does not come from the just anywhere, the virus is spread by the one who carries it,” he said. At the same time, he reaffirmed that for as long as a vaccine has not emerged “the COVID will remain with us”. “We all want the best but we all have to be prepared for the worst,” he stated.
At the ceremony, Minister Ana Mendes Godinho announced that the program to strengthen human resources in homes will involve hiring another 15 thousand workers by the end of the year. So far, the PARES program has placed 6,200 unemployed, lay-off workers and other people eligible to perform social work, covering more than 1,000 institutions.
According to the minister, the Government’s objective is to “go further” with these actions, which will increase the number of people covered by the program, “to strengthen institutions so that they can preventively have more people already working”, with the objective ” of placing 15,000 people in social sector institutions by the end of the year in order to respond to pandemic situations and also include the training aspect”.