The European Commission (EC) on Friday proposed a 840,000-euro (1.14 million U.S. dollars) fund to help redundant building materials workers in Spain.
According to a press release, the money from the European Globalization Adjustment Fund (EGF) is to help 300 workers, made redundant in the manufacture of building materials in Valencia, find new jobs.
The proposal will now go to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for approval.
"Workers in the Spanish building materials industry have been hard hit by rising global competition and the economic crisis," said the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Laszlo Andor.
"The Spanish labor market is particularly challenging, but I am convinced that the proposed support from Europe's Globalization Adjustment Fund would help the workers who lost their jobs to quickly find new opportunities," Andor added.
Spain applied for support from the EGF following the dismissal of 630 workers in 140 small and medium-sized companies making building materials such as plasterboard and concrete products in the region of Valencia. The dismissals were the result of increased competition from building materials produced elsewhere in the world, compounded by the economic crisis.
The EC said that the employment situation in Valencia was particularly fragile, given the impact of the crisis on various other sectors such as construction, furniture, textiles, footwear and toys. Under other circumstances, these sectors could have offered alternative employment for redundant workers.
"The support of the EGF is therefore all the more essential, as it can help these workers to explore new and different opportunities," said the press release.
According to the EC, the EGF co-financed measures would provide workers with one-to-one counseling and guidance, re-training, job-search allowance and a contribution to commuting expenses.