State funds tarot card readings for jobless

Tarot card readers, astrologers and spiritually-based ‘personal development programmes’ are being given government funding as part of efforts to get people back to work, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The paper says more than 2,000 companies are currently operating on the market to boost people’s employability.
‘It is a new market, anyone can join in,’ says Ryanne Dijkstra, of Blik op Werk, which is developing a quality standard for reintegration companies.
Christian and Socialist MPs have called for an end to the subsidising of some programmes. ‘Such woolly projects do not help in finding a job,’ Christian Democrat MP Eddy van Hijum told the paper.
However, career coach Erica Groenendijk, who uses tarot cards, said the government should let the market do its work. Companies which are not successful will have to close down, she pointed out.
Since 2004, the jobless and people on incapacity benefit can get up to €5,000 from the state to pay for courses to help them find work. Last year, some 42,500 people were following such reintegration projects, the paper said.

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