Tsunami jobless scheme extended

PHUKET CITY: With the number of people being made redundant by tsunami-hit businesses soaring, the Phuket Provincial Labor Office (PPLO) has extended its employment creation scheme that offers low-skill government work to the jobless.

According to figures compiled by Phuket Social Security Office (PSSO), in January, 46 people on the island registered to say that they had been made redundant; in February, another 457 lost their jobs, and in the first two weeks of March alone, a further 674 people reported having been laid off.

Yaowalak Yangyuen, the Chief of the PSSO, said, “Since December we have paid out around 6.8 million baht in benefits to the unemployed.” Those made jobless by the tsunami and who registered with the PSSO are entitled to receive unemployment benefit for six months.

Nineteen hotels and guesthouses have gone out of business so far this year, along with 51 businesses in the recreation and leisure sector, such as restaurants, tour companies, spas and cabaret show operators.

In the light of this, the PPLO has extended its work creation scheme until June. Under the scheme, unemployed people are paid 175 baht a day to perform work such as sweeping streets, gardening and public sector office work. Some 2,500 people are currently employed by the scheme.

Following the tsunami, the Ministry of Labour granted the PPLO 9 million baht to launch the job creation scheme, which was originally scheduled to be wound up on March 15.

However, PPLO Chief Decha Prekpattanarak said that there was still about 4 million baht left over, allowing a three-month extension of the scheme.

He advised anyone out of work to contact the local Tambon Administration Organization or Municipality office to register for government work.

Phuket News
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