On 28 November 2018, the international project ‘Social partners on the digital fast track’ was approved by the European Social Fund. The official kick-off took place on 22 February.
This ESF-project closely aligns with the objectives of The Social and Economic Council of Flanders (SERV) to develop a vision and policy recommendations on the consequences of digitalization and robotization on the Flemish economy and labour market. While the SERV manages the project, various international partners in Germany, France, Spain and the Czech Republic are involved in its execution.
The purpose of the project is to exchange knowledge, good practices and knowhow on digitalization and the role of the social partners within this transition. The project enables the social partners to look beyond the Flemish borders, and to learn how other countries and foreign social partners tackle the challenges posed by the digital revolution. How social partners are involved with government policies and changes in the workplace differs between countries. Together with our international partners, the SERV will develop an international comparison which focusses especially on best practices on future-proofing our economy and labour market, on the process of social dialogue and on the impact of digitalization on these processes. Crucial questions to be answered are:
- How do social partners in other countries and regions of the European Union seize the opportunities offered by digitalization and robotization, concerning for instance innovation, productivity growth, new business models and value-production …?
- How do social partners in other countries and regions of the European Union cope with the challenges posed by digitalization and robotization, especially concerning the labour market, jobs and skills?
- How is the social dialogue in those countries and regions concerned with the topic of digitalization, both bilateral as with governments?
- How are social partners involved with digitalization and digitalization policies such as industry 4.0 and how do social partners try to create a win-win for everyone via social dialogue?
Mutual learning will be accomplished through the organization of four roundtables and study visits. The focus on the social dialogue, its partners and the processes will pertinently guide the project from beginning to the end. Every individual roundtable will tackle a different topic and will be followed by study visits to one or more good practices in the host region. The topics are:
- labour market and labour organization
- skills and competences
- regional economic and innovation policy
- the process of social dialogue
Based on the search- and learning process that will develop in the coming months, the results of this project and the reports of the various roundtables will be gradually made public on this website.