Supporting the production and promotion of Portuguese handicrafts
The Institute for Employment and Professional Training organises the biennial “National Handicrafts Prize”, that aims to distinguish Portuguese artisans, by highlighting their technical and professional skills, thus encouraging artisanal production in its traditional and contemporary dimensions, and appealing to quality and innovation as indispensable factors for the development and affirmation of the Portuguese arts and crafts sector. The IEFP also fosters the certification of traditional artisanal products, thus enabling them to be safeguarded and protected, and contributing to the affirmation and valorization of these works in diversified and differentiated markets, together with higher employment in these areas. The IEFP is responsible for implementation of the Artisans Statute and the Artisanal Production Unit, through which it provides official recognition for artisans and issues artisan cards and artisanal production unit cards; up until 23 February 2012, 1,800 artisanal production unit cards were issued, corresponding to 1,980 membership cards. In the framework of this specific legislation, the National Handicraft Register (RNA) has also been drawn up, which is a publicly available database13 that lists the officially recognized artisans and artisanal production unit, and thus constitutes an updated public inventory and instrument that supports promotion and internationalization of Portuguese handicrafts.