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A Demand-Led Approach Focusing on the Skills Needs of Employers: ESIMeC Project Final Results

Edited on

09 October 2017

ESIMeC project brought together 8 European cities that wanted to answer the question of medium-sized cities confronted with the recession, from a labour market and economical development point of view. Right from the beginning, their approach was to put the people at the centre of the project. They explored how medium sized cities can generate new employment opportunities, prepare workers for jobs, and address mismatches between the supply of labour and demand for workers. 

During 3 years of joint activity, the 8 project partners developed together a series of tools and instruments for a better use of demand-led workforce development in the context of sustainable economic recovery and growth in medium sized cities. The findings of their transnational events transformed into tools and recipes for success, aiming to help city practitioners understand the ingredients and utensils they could consider using to help towards a job rich recovery. 

ESIMEC’s Conclusions and Policy Recommendations

ESIMeC’s partners identified a number of fundamental approaches that all medium-sized towns and cities can follow to support job creation and growth. The starting point was to understand the needs of employers and the state of labour market at local level. At this end, ESIMeC launched a skills forecasting tool to help cities use quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand employer skills needs. The next step regarded the development of an entrepreneurial environment, using existing expertise among partners as a benchmark for this activity at project level. Other good practices were identified among partners regarding the development and delivery of a whole system approach to employment and economic development, examples of structured but flexible strategic partnerships, of outsourcing functions as a means for integrating integrate services and strengthening links with local businesses, just to name a few of them. Last but not least, ESIMeC focused on a better use of European Structural Funds, the project’s findings giving indications for medium-sized cities about strategic positioning and the way they can benefit from the available resources. 

What’s cooking in the oven?  ESIMeC’s “Cookbook” of Workforce Development Recipes for Economic Recovery

Based on their joint exploration of eight key areas of workforce development, ESIMeC’s partner cities published a set of particularly useful approaches, or “Recipes for Success”, for other cities to try. The eight themes fit in well with the Europe 2020 flagship initiative An Agenda for new skills and jobs: A European contribution towards full employment and the subsequent Employment Package (April 2012). Towns looking for ways to unlock their people’s potential through jobs and skills will particularly appreciate the recipes in ESIMeC’s Cookbook:

  • Recipe 1: Effective Partnership working;
  • Recipe 2: Municipality-University-Business cooperation for workforce development;
  • Recipe 3: Green growth and green jobs;
  • Recipe 4: Preparing young people for the world of work;
  • Recipe 5: A marinade for destination marketing;
  • Recipe 6: Cultural and creative growth and jobs;
  • Recipe 7: Integrated approaches to economic and workforce development;
  • Recipe 8: Skills forecasting at city level.

Next steps 

Involving 5 of the initial partners, ESIMeC was selected as a pilot network for the delivery of their Local Action Plans. Basingstoke (UK), as Lead partner, together with Bistrita (RO), Sabadell (ES),  Gälve (SE) and Innova (HU) will work together for further exploring how to optimize the implementation by reviewing the progress made, identifying key challenges and sharing examples of good practice.  ESIMeC and the other 2 Delivery networks,will be closely accompanied by the  URBACT Programme, with the final objective of developing specific skills for city practitioners that the implementation of integrated action plans require.      

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