CLUSTER Virtual Launch Conference
The economic hardships following the COVID-19 pandemic have heavily affected employment opportunities in the Euro-Mediterranean region, raising numbers of citizens at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The COVID-19 crisis has severely affected labour markets around the world, hurting young people more than other age groups. Globally, youth employment fell by 8.7% in 2020 compared with 3.7% for adults. Moreover, demand-supply skills mismatch is a key factor behind high unemployment, and changing labour market demands highlight a growing importance of reskilling and upskilling of youth and women, together with diversifying and investing in sustainable economy sectors to better cope with future economic and climate crises.
Against this background, the “CLUSTER – advanCing youth and women sociaL inclUSion in The MEditerRanean” capitalisation project, funded under the European Union’s ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin (ENI CBC Med) Programme, aims to create a supportive environment for youth/women employment schemes, by equipping NEETs, in particular women, between 18-30 years of age, with employability skills in four sustainable economy sectors (Blue Economy, Circular Economy, Green Economy and Sustainable Agriculture), and promoting long-lasting partnerships between TVET institutions, the private sector and social economy actors, while raising awareness of public authorities and policy-makers. The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) acts as the Lead Beneficiary of CLUSTER which is implemented through a consortium of partners from Italy, Cyprus, France, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia.
The CLUSTER Launch Conference is a high-level event strengthening networking and dialogue among relevant stakeholders, as a step towards the creation of a supportive regional environment for the employment of NEETs. With this in mind, and on the occasion of the first annual celebration of the Day of the Mediterranean by the Union for the Mediterranean, it will consist of two panels with small interventions (5 minutes each) and an open discussion.
The first panel will investigate the “Youth labour market impact of the COVID-19 crisis along with gender disparities”, contributing to the promotion of an integrated and multi-dimensional youth/women employment scheme.
The second panel “Addressing labour demand-supply mismatch through sustainable economy sectors” will focus on how an effective response to the challenges highlighted in the first panel requires the reskilling and upskilling of youth and women, thus creating new occupations.