This conference discussed how local and regional authorities can improve education and respond to the need for more flexible careers, contributing this way to Europe's growth strategy.
The European Union is committed to reach an employment level of 75% of its workforce by 2020 (68.6% in 2011). In Europe, currently more than 23 million people are looking for a job. With the "Agenda for new skills and jobs", one of the seven Flagship Initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU and the member states are stepping up labour market reforms, join forces to equip people with the right skills, attempt to improve working conditions and encourage the creation of new jobs.
From the perspective of regional and local authorities, the conference focused on the main priorities of the flagship initiative: the reform of the labour market, the increase of skill levels, job growth and job quality. The event welcomed about 200 policy makers and senior experts of national, regional and local public administrations, as well as employment specialists from academia, networks and associations.
Among the key note speakers were CoR President Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Irish Minister Phil Hogan and Dublin Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí. The conference was hosted by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and was organised in parallel with the CoR Bureau meeting.