Hermes Project / 2007 / Izmir - Turkey
Harnessing Employment, Regional Mobility and Entrepreneurship in South - Eastern Europe
The HERMES project aims to contribute to the targets of increased competitiveness, territorial socio-economic cohesion and sustainable development in four (4) frontier regions of Greece (Kentriki Makedonia, Anatoliki Makedonia-Thraki, Noteio Aigaio, Voreio Aigaio) ahead of the anticipated impact to be borne on border regional labour markets by the imminent European enlargement. It is based on the realized need to address in an effective and combined strategy the challenges of qualification enhancement and active labour market policy promotion, especially when addressing under/unemployed population groups, and endeavours to encourage the process of lifelong qualifications/skills building, the geographical and professional mobility of workers and the development of entrepreneurship amongst beneficiaries resident in those regions. In parallel, HERMES will proactively connect the Greek regions to their cross-border accession countries in an endeavour to establish sustainable institutional structures, bridges and cross-cultural links that shall help ensure its viable endurance beyond 2006.
HERMES highlights the particular geopolitical and socio-political case of south-eastern Europe ahead of a phased enlargement by focusing on Greece and its neighbouring countries Cyprus, Bulgaria, Turkey, as these enter a phased enlargement process across three (3) consecutive waves of accession bearing a respective phased, multi-faceted and diversified impact on the wider region. The beneficiaries in HERMES are young women and men (aged 16-24 years old), and local SMEs’ employees and workers across thefour regions, whereas the specific sectors of tourism, food/beverages and trade and commerce are centred on, as they either embody the regional comparative advantage or expect to be directly/indirectly affected by EU enlargement. HERMES intends to deliver integrated results in the form of:
· Cross-Border Studies recording the impact of enlargement in regional labour markets and suggesting appropriate policy/sectoral focus and employment strategy development;
· An Integrated Methodology for the Incorporation of the Youth & Gender dimensions in regional proactive employment strategies;
· A “Strategic Manual: Setting up Vocational Training Programmes/Centres”, Job-Matching andSkills Measurement Tools, Social Skills Development Tool, Job Orientation Tool ;
· Eight (8) Vocational Training Pilot Programmes (VTPPs) in labour intensive sectors mainstreaming the cross-cutting gender and youth dimensions and the ethnic element;
· Intra-, Inter-Regional and Cross-Border Networking and Cluster Development;
· Cycle of Cross-Border Field Visits by Chamber of Commerce officials;
· Training-the-Trainers Distance E-learning Training Courses;
· Training-the-SME’s Employees Distance E-learning Training Courses;
· Creation of for (4) Regional Information Structures;
· Short-term pilot work placements (15) in the accession countries’ labour markets
· Public Information & Dissemination Strategy over the positive impact of enlargement at the local level and the impact-mitigation mechanisms in place.
- To contribute to the territorial socio-economic cohesion and strengthening of the competitive performance of four Greek Border Regions in view of a three-phased enlargement process (Cyprus-Bulgaria-Turkey) by highlighting their comparative sectoral advantages, by increasing their interaction with each other and with candidate countries and by promoting the policy and practice of polycentrism;
- To help increase the occupational and geographical mobility of active and currently inactive labour force, especially young women and men (16-24 years old), across selected sectors in targeted Greek border regions;
- To facilitate awareness raising within local societies with regard to the impacts expected to be borne by enlargement by proactively helping local labour force adapt to the oncoming socioeconomic transformations and by diffusing related material and thus contributing to an increased public support in regional societies
- To increase cross-cultural familiarisation and emphasise the importance of a competitive local workforce in regional policy making across Greece and the wider macroregion.
- To identify the specific characteristics of the regions’ workforce and its particular difficulties/needs, especially when addressing the target groups of youth, women;
- To identify the particular characteristics, bottlenecks and opportunities of the key sectors in the selected regional economies, i.e. tourism, food/beverages and trade & commerce;
- To produce a needs-assessment of employees and workers in the targeted sectors in terms of training and social inclusion, taking into account the characteristic identity of these regions due to their geomorphology, their demographical data and the social diversity factor (youth, gender);
- To produce an “Integrated Methodology for the Incorporation of the Youth, Gender and Culture” and mainstream a tailored Intervention Strategy on Regional Employment, Competition and Youth;
- To elaborate effective and efficient Sector-Specific Mitigation Strategies for affected sectors ahead of the anticipated phased enlargement effects;
- To produce a number of employment-facilitating Tools, such as Job-Matching and Skills Measurement Tools, a Social Skills Development Tool, and a Job Orientation Tool ;
- To secure a multiplier-effect and an ongoing knowledge/skills development process via opting for the production of a “Strategic Manual: Setting up Vocational Training Programmes/Centres” and instilling such knowledge tool via Distance E-Learning seminars in selected beneficiaries per region;
- To produce targeted training material and deliver this in eight Vocational Training Pilot Programmes to beneficiaries via a number of methods (classroom training sessions & seminars, Distance Learning/ICT-enabled courses) and diffuse information to non-target beneficiaries (eg. employees in other sectors) and the wider public;
- To establish four (4) Regional Employment Information & Promotion Structures (Info-Points) that, in a spirit of decentralisation, will be designed to be part of the fabric of the local community and wider region and thus be capable of selecting, adapting and delivering information to the real needs of their public;
- To promote cross-cultural understanding and familiarisation with respect to over-the-border labour environments/markets through launching a series of fifteen (15) short-term pilot work placements in Cyprus (5), Bulgaria (5) and Turkey (5).
- To foster interaction and networking between training institutions and economic development bodies at the intra-regional and inter-regional level and contribute to the ongoing identification of training needs and adjustment of training schemes to the actual needs of the local market;
Partners: UEHR, EGE Foundation, URDE.