Major multinationals such as ING, Unilever and Philips have had millions of euros from special EU development funds to stimulate employment in poorer regions such as Poland, Trouw reported on Saturday.
The money is supposed to be spent on ‘strengthening the knowledge and skills of employees at Polish companies, largely small and medium-sized firms’. However, says Trouw, some of the cash has been spent on courses for managers at big companies.
Trouw says some €300m in subsidies has been paid out so far to help the poorest regions, of which half has gone to stock exchange-listed companies and multinationals. The rules were tightened up last June to ensure more money went to small firms.
The organisations and companies which qualified for subsidies include local government, job centres and NGOs. But the list also includes ING, Unilever and Philips, alongside Mercedes Benz, BMW, Renault, Heinz, EDF, Nestlé, Deutsche Bank and Pepsi Cola, Trouw states.
Unilever received €1m for a training programme to improve staff ‘winning’ skills. ING Bank Slaski also had €1m to train managers, while ING financial services was given €900,000 to train its staff.
Philips needed €300,000 to teach its Polish workers about ‘people and values’ and Rabobank’s Polish subsidiary BGZ had almost €2.5m in EU money, Trouw says.