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Training and upskilling programme at Arla Foods in Denmark

Arla Foods (Dairy company, number of employees: 19,600) has started an extensive skills development and upskilling programme in 2009. The initiative goes back to the social partners in the Danish dairy industry, who has agreed to upgrade the skills all employees in the dairy industry within the next years.

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Company pension scheme at Unilever in Germany

The Additional Company Pension Scheme of Unilever (UZR) was initiated by the Unilever work council (Konzernbetriebsrat – group works council) as a part of a demography project. In a joint social partner approach, Unilever management and works council agreed to create the UZR as a measure to ensure flexible transitions from working to pension life. An agreement was signed by management and works council. The UZR is an additional measure to existing statutory and collective agreement pension schemes.

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Exchange of good practices and learning network in Belgium

The sectorial training institute IFP (Institut de Formation Professionnelle), the food industry training institute (managed jointly by the sectorial social partners), has set up a learning network of social actors and companies involved in the training of workers.

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Industrial learning agreement in Belgium

Several sectors of activity in Belgium already have a system in place for the 15/25 years old jobseekers that combines learning with working. This is the case for the food industry. The programme is co-managed by the trade unions and employers’ organizations: they have set up an “apprenticeship Committee” that identifies learning and employment priorities, in cooperation with professional / technical schools. The social partners are the ones who can deliver homologation to companies who wish to hire apprentices. The programme allows people to learn on-the job during one or two years. They go to school two days a week, and work in a company three days a week. They get paid a salary for the days they work. The salary is of 50% of the minimum hourly wage and bonuses and/or incentives to promote motivation and presence at work.

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Introduction of extra days of paid leave for older workers in the Belgian food industry

The previous government in power in Belgium changed the conditions for early retirement. Because of this, many workers close to retirement age are obligated to work longer than expected. The current government has decided to make the conditions even stricter and have increased the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. Hence, the social partners have decided to provide better conditions for workers with seniority. The objective is both preventive and a compensatory. In the recent negotiations, the social partners have renegotiated the conditions for extra days of leave.

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New apprenticeship programme “Food technician” in Austria

Main driver behind the newly introduced apprenticeship scheme “Food technician” was the Austrian employers’ organisation “Fachverband der Lebensmittelindustrie”, who initiated and developed the programme inclusive of training curricula in close cooperation with the trade union Pro-Ge in 2008. The apprenticeship for the food technician takes 3 ½ years.

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