The Iseak Foundation and the Department of Labour and Employment organise an international meeting on the future of employment

2023 February 8

The Iseak Foundation and the Department of Labour and Employment organise an international meeting on the future of employment

  • Nobel Prize winner David Card will open the event in which Sara de la Rica will present the White Paper on Employment.
  • European Commission, Spanish Government, Basque Government, Provincial Councils and City Councils will present their vision and initiatives to provide opportunities in the face of major transitions

The Department of Labour and Employment of the Basque Government and the Iseak Foundation have organised the WORKINLan Summit-Employment in the Basque Country which will involve two international days of debate, reflection, analysis and proposals on the employment that the Basque Country needs in the future in the current and medium term, with the participation of the European Commission, the Spanish Government, the Provincial and City Councils, as well as personalities from the scientific and academic fields such as the Nobel Prize for Economics 2021, David Card. The meeting has generated a great deal of interest and, to date, more than 600 people have already registered.

The sessions, which will be held on 16 and 17 February at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, have their origin in the preparation of the White Paper on Employment in the Basque Country, carried out over the last year by the Iseak Foundation at the proposal of the Department of Labour and Employment, “which aims to understand the past, present and future of employment in the Basque Country, paying special attention to the major challenges it faces: demographic, technological and climate transitions”, in the words of the director of the Foundation and of the project, Sara de la Rica.

This book, which will be given to the participants of the WORKINLan Summit and will be available from that day onwards for all interested entities and individuals, proposes a framework for reflection that will serve to channel specific measures to boost productivity and quality employment for the whole Basque society, and especially to take advantage of the opportunities offered by these profound changes not only to create more and better jobs, but also “to build a less unequal and more just and equitable society”.

To this end, multiple sources and scientific references have been brought in, some of whom will participate in the event, such as the Nobel Prize winner in Economics David Card, who will open the academic meeting with a talk entitled “Economic research and policies: Immigration and Minimum Wage.” In the same session, and after the presentation of the White Paper, three roundtables will be held to contrast theory and practice on the energy-climate, demographic and digital transitions, and their influence on employment.

The second session will feature Professor Jan Eeckhout who, in his paper “The profit paradox: How some companies threaten the future of employment”, will focus on the importance of working conditions in the employment that the Basque Country needs; the Head of the Employment and Income Division of the OECD’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Stéphane Carcillo; and Harvard University professor Stephanie Stantcheva, who will speak on “The welfare state agenda of good jobs.”

Institutional collaboration

The academic agenda is linked, in addition to the White Paper, with the project of the Department of Labour and Employment in this legislature to create better employment. This commitment, recalls the Vice-Lehendakari Idoia Mendia, “affects the whole of society and needs the whole of society”. That is the reason why the WORKINLan Summit has been open to all institutions and economic and social agents, because “we want to generate a space for debate and exchange of ideas in which the different actors of the Basque employment ecosystem participate, together with leading academic personalities in the fields of employment and inequality”.

Thus, the Vice-Lehendendakari herself will participate in the opening ceremony together with the Mayor of Bilbao, as well as the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicholas Schmit, the Vice-Presidents of the Spanish Government Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera, and the attendance of the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá. It will be the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu who will close the Summit on the second day, in which the City Councils of Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Provincial Councils of Bizkaia and Alava will take part, with their heads of employment, through the various activities generated around the event.

Full programme and side events information: https://workinlan.eus/

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Politicians attending the event