human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Our Partnership for job creation conference

How to create new opportunities for all

For people who have been in long-term unemployment, when the door to the labour market opens it means not only access to financial stability but also to dignity and well-being that has a positive effect on all those around.

How to contribute to inclusive labour markets in the most efficient way? How to ensure quality employment and job security for people outside the labour market with the overall aim of fostering a human-centred economy? Can social economy enterprises, social innovation and multi-stakeholder approaches be an answer?  That was the topic of our one-day conference on Innovative and strategic partnerships for job creation that we organised at the European Economic and Social Committee last week.  The event gathered around 70 participants and over a dozen speakers who presented several and very interesting experiences of the effectiveness of multi-sector cooperation towards the creation of quality jobs. Based on the work on the ground, recommendations for practitioners and policy makers at national and European levels were presented and discussed.

In order to serve the needs of disadvantaged people who have spent a long time out of the labour market, multi-stakeholders partnerships provide a prominent opportunity to pool the strengths of companies, NGOs, social economy enterprises, investors and public authorities in order to lift them out of unemployment”, said Caritas Europa Secretary General, Maria Nyman, as she opened the conference.

EVPA’s CEO, Steven Serneels, highlighted the importance of investing in social economy initiatives and of having business models with civil society issues at the core, such as the access to employmeKLnt. Indeed, EVPA is committed to be the prime supporter and convener of the community of investors for impact in Europe. This is why EVPA was “more than happy to co-organize the event and to see different stakeholders from the public and private sector during this event sharing their knowledge and experience in order to collaborate for innovative solutions for the future”.

During the conference, the higher social impact of multi-stakeholders approaches as well as the importance of bringing innovation in processes, products or services and tools where provided by several actors such as: the Spanish Fundacion ONCE, the Italian Torino Social Impact, the Austrian supermarket Spar in association with Caritas Vienna, the British  SEIDs Hub and services of Caritas Westminster, the Stromspar-check project of Caritas Germany and the Belgian microcredit organisation MicroStart.   Centre for Social Investment of the University of Heidelberg also presented a study on the potential of multi-sector alliances.

During the conference we’ve discovered several innovative practices towards job creation, all over Europe. It was also the occasion to exchange with people from various positions, at a local or European level, from public, private or social entities. We took very interesting contacts and already planned meetings to deeper analyse possible collaboration”, said Roxane Lemercier, Partnerships Manager at MicroStart.

Fundacion Once shared their experience thought this video:

A highlight during the conference was the inspirational stories that came from the ground level, opportunities and willingness to share what makes these partnerships work. Following the event, I had a better understanding of how to overcome common barriers and challenges that we see across Europe”, said Elaine Hanlon, Policy Officer at RREUSE, one of the participants.

A variety of points of view on current EU policies related to social economy and social enterprises where presented by the European Confederation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives (CECOP) and European Network of Social Integration Enterprises (ENSIE).

Resources, practical tools and current policies where presented by representatives from the European Commission’s Social Economy Team (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) and Job creation (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion); and by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which also kindly hosted the event.

This conference was a great example of showcasing the positive potential and need for increased cross-sectoral dialogue to further promote strategies to access to employment for all people”, said Stefan Kitzmann, Policy Officer at Eurodiaconia, one of the participants.

Most of the presentations from this conference can be find here. This conference was organised with support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020).