The OECD worldwide network of local development practitioners will have its 9th Annual Meeting in Dublin and Kilkenny on the 26th and 27th March.
The event, part of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union, will focus on strategies for reducing high and persistent unemployment and defining new sources of economic growth. Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD will give the opening address.
Today Pobal announced details of the event’s themed workshops over both days. The workshops will explore how Ireland can learn from successful international and local practices as it implements its own reform agendas. They will “give participants the opportunity to identify lessons that may have wider applicability”, said Denis Leamy CEO of Pobal.
Growth and Investment
As Ireland and other countries in the EU continue to take substantial measures to stabilise economic conditions, the OECD has identified that local development is an integrated process that works over cycles. A workshop will bring together experts such as Michael Graham from Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and Baron Frankal, Director of Economic Strategy at New Economy, Manchester. Mr Frankel will share how Manchester’s experience at entrepreneurial city-level governance has stimulated a new approach in the United Kingdom.
Demographic change and urban transitions are key challenges for sustainable growth and one session will explore ways to make shrinking communities more resilient. Among the speakers will be Edward Blakely, Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the University of Sydney, who will draw on his experience of working in New Orleans. The founder and director of the TSSG group, William Donnelly, an R&D centre within the European Framework programme will speak on how to support high growth potential firms, looking at management skills, business accelerators and innovation.
Stronger collaboration between employment and training agencies, employers, educational institutions and economic development agencies can provide the right conditions to create more jobs locally. Jan Hendeliowitz, Senior Advisor in the Danish Ministry of Employment, will speak on the integrated system created in Denmark.
Youth unemployment rates remain high in many OECD countries and the event will host workshops exploring new ways of working to optimise available resources to address issues such as school drop-out rates, promote vocational skills to make young people more job-ready, and identify better governance mechanisms. Eddy Adams, an expert from URBACT - a European exchange and learning programme - said “the workshop will explore ways in which municipalities can transform themselves to kick-start innovation and tackle the youth crisis”.
Innovative Onsite Projects
A number of innovative projects in the Kilkenny area will host workshops and feed their experiences into the discussions on day two, including Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, Kilkenny Employment for Youth Training Centre, TSSG Innovation Centre and Castlecomer Discovery Park social enterprise.
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Further details about the meeting can be found on the OECD's website