Job creation, Skills and Growth: A major Challenge for URBACT Cities too !


By URBACT, on September 24th, 2012

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During this year’s spring, the European Commission published its Employment Package, a range of cross cutting measures to drive new job creation. In the same time the OECD launched its Skills Strategy that emphasize people and skills are at the heart of economic recovery and growth.

These reports are addressed to all types of stakeholders, but what about cities ? How to adapt these policies to local specificities ? What type of role cities can play in supporting job creation and skills development ?

One URBACT project called ESIMeC (Economic Strategies and Innovation in Medium Sized Cities) focuses on this issue. Some initiatives led at local level by partner cities can be linked to recommandations included in these reports from the European Commission and the OECD.

In « Jobs, skills and growth policy – An ESIMec Perspective », Alison Partridge, URBACT Thematic Pole Manager has picked out some of these interesting practices :

  • Understand the needs of employers and the state of labour market : ESIMeC cities will soon launch a skills forecasting tool that will assist cities in the use of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to better understand what are the needs of employers in terms of skills. Gathering information to design effective approaches to skills in an essential step in any skills strategy.
  • Foster entrepreneurship : «Entrepreneurs are made, not born» : Teaching entrepreneurship at school seems to be an effective mean. Gävle, Sweden, an ESIMec city has elaborated an entrepreneurial learning initiative . School teachers recieved a training on entrepreneurial education, the result being the development of a mentoring programme linking pupils and business people.
  • Gather stakeholders from sectors with great potential : The Employment Package identified sectors with greatest potential in terms of job creation : the green, white (health and social care) and digital economies. Through their Local Actions Plans, URBACT cities have targeted sectors like energy efficency (Albacete, Spain), creative industries (Besançon, France) and innovation and knwoledge (Debrecen, Hungary). Moreover all stakeholders – from business, government and research- need to understand the functions on the labour market, therefore they need to have the ability to navigate around it both independently and together. One of the objectives of Debrecen’s Local Action Plan is to ensure that business, government and research and education providers are geard up for the needs of the knowledge economy.

This food for thought is key for cities that need to start to position themselves for the new structural fund programmes of the next period (2014-2020). Cities can take advantage of the ressources available from ERDF adnd ESF to develop integrated approaches to workforce development in their cities. URBACT cities are at the forefront to present targeted and effective initiatives for job creation !

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2 Responses to “Job creation, Skills and Growth: A major Challenge for URBACT Cities too !”

  1. We have a a world economy now, and everything is interconnected. No longer can a single country pull itself out of the morass.

  2. Angelo Paolo Perriello says:

    My organization is engaged to the line of plans for employment in differente sectors as a public body of the municipality of Castelnuovo Cilento (Sa) Italy. We appreciate all the measure syou have posted as they trace real targets and deepen the themes of growth and jobs. We are looking for municipalities for partnership agreements investing on historical, scientific, didactic, tourist itineraries. Thanks
    my e mail:

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