DUBLIN, 6 February - Employment and Social Policy Ministers are convening in Dublin tomorrow for a two day informal meeting focusing on one of the most difficult social problems facing Europe. The theme of the informal meeting is getting people into work.
Ministers will share views and experiences on a number of policy areas, ranging from jobs and skills development in ICT, youth unemployment and activating jobless households, that will feed into the process of developing services and supporting European people back into work.
This meeting, in an informal setting, is a good opportunity for Ministers for employment and social policy to have an open and honest debate on how we can focus our efforts in getting our European citizens into employment.
The first plenary session will be co-chaired by Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD. The second plenary session on youth employment will be chaired by Minister Joan Burton.
Minister Joan Burton will also chair a workshop on active inclusion for jobless households, Minister Richard Bruton will chair a workshop on the employment and skills opportunities in the ICT area, and Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD will chair a workshop on the labour market engagement of older women.
Minister Joan Burton stated:
“With an unemployment rate of 11% across Europe Ireland’s Presidency comes at a pivotal time for Europe. The three key elements for the Irish Presidency are stability, growth and jobs. This meeting, in an informal setting, is a good opportunity for Ministers for employment and social policy to have an open and honest debate on how we can focus our efforts in getting our European citizens into employment. I am particularly interested in developing strategies for tackling the problem of youth unemployment"
The Irish Government has identified job-creation as a top priority during our Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Minister Richard Bruton said:
"Reflecting our domestic priorities, the Irish Government has identified job-creation as a top priority during our Presidency of the Council of the EU. In recent years through the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work we have made significant changes to the Irish economy to support job-creation. Many of the challenges we have faced in Ireland are common across the EU, such as for example the ICT skills gap. Bringing together Europe's Employment Ministers in Dublin to discuss and develop key supports for job-creation will be an important step in achieving our Presidency goals. I look forward to sharing lessons from Ireland and across Europe, making progress on measures to reduce the ICT skills gap and drive job-creation in Europe".
The informal ministerial meeting will be preceded by meetings of the Presidency Trio of Employment Ministers (composed of the Presidency and the two succeeding Presidencies) with representatives of European social partners, conducted by Minister Richard Bruton, and with the Social Platform of European NGOs conducted by Minister Joan Burton. These discussions will focus on skills development and access to jobs for those furthest from the labour market.