Structural challenges of the labour market – Promoting the development of social enterprises as a tool od socio-economic integration of the low skilled, Belgium
On the 18th June Barka UK representative, Ioana Tanasescu, took part in the annual conference organized by the European Committee of Coordination (CEC) at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, followed by a European seminar in Namur on the 19th June. The main themes approached concentrated especially on the levels of unemployment amongst young people throughout Europe and the promotion of social enterprises. The CEC partners (e.g. Barka Poland) are rolling out numerous initiatives that take a variety of forms, such as training through work organisations and training initiatives linked to the creation of social co-operatives or charitable organisations.The conference at the EESC concentrated on how to promote the development of the social enterprises as a tool of socio-economic integration of the low-skilled. A lot of the discussion revolved around the Europe 2020 vision. In particular the Education and Training 2020 framework that basically reflects the EU’s concerns in the field of education. While the demand for skills gets even more sophisticated, jobs require even more analysis and transmission of information, and technology becomes ever more omnipresent, those with low skill levels find themselves even more threatened. A poor grasp of basic competences prevents access to a large number of services, as well as the chance of receiving training, an essential factor for developing and sustaining skills throughout one’s life.
The European Seminar that took place in Namur concentrated on the structural challenges of the labour market at present and what should be the role of the CEC partners in tackling those challenges. A talk of particular interest to me was the one of Guillaume Cravero from Business Europe which is the leading advocate for growth at European level, standing up for companies across the continent and campaigning on the issues that most influence their performance. He talked about the fact that the training effort needs to be sustained. In all countries of the European Union this effort includes initial education, but also participation in lifelong training. In addition to transforming lives, skills are important when it comes to the prosperity of the individual and social inclusion. Without relevant skills, individuals remain at the margins of society.
The CEC and the Barka Foundation, as its member, together with all the other members across Europe are committed to taking up the skills challenge. The economic and financial crisis that has been with us since 2008 is causing millions of jobs loses across Europe and making it more difficult for young people to get a job. It is therefore essential to strengthen our human capital and employability through improving skills, but we also need to ensure a better match between the skills on offers and the requirements of the labour market.
For more information about the CEC and its partners please visit their website: http://cecasbl.org