The 11th meeting of the ESF Transnational Thematic Network on Employment took place on 14th and 15th May 2019 in Malta. The topic of the meeting was Job Carving and Job Crafting, two innovative approaches aimed at adapting or creating jobs in line with peoples' individual talents, needs and motivations. On the one hand, Job carving refers to the practice of rearranging work tasks within a company to create tailor-made employment opportunities for people with reduced work capacities. On the other hand, Job crafting can be regarded as a form of workplace innovation whereby employees design their tasks and work processes themselves. Emphasis was placed on how the ESF can promote job carving and job crafting as levers towards inclusive employment for all people.
The first day of the meeting introduced the concepts of job carving and job crafting. In his keynote address, Bart Moens (Mooi Werk Makers) presented the different facets of matching talent and tasks and emphasized the dynamic nature of job design. Next, Anette Scoppetta, Thematic Expert of the Network, and Eamonn Davern, Expert on Long-Term Unemployment, presented the main objectives of the meeting and laid the ground for the 2-day discussion on how ESF could contribute to finance job carving and job crafting practices. Nathalie Wuiame, Expert on Gender for the TNs, introduced the gender dimension in job carving and job crafting. In this regard, she stressed the need to avoid that such practices result in downgraded jobs that reinforce gender segregation in employment.
The meeting also showcased several initiatives developed in Malta to enable the inclusion of vulnerable groups of people through job carving and job crafting. In this regard, Esmeralda Micallef Zarafa and Katia Cortis presented a state of play of job design practices in Malta through the activities carried out by the Lino Spiteri Foundation with focus on people with disabilities. Olivia Farrugia of Jobsplus (Maltese PES) presented the ESF-supported VASTE project, which targets different vulnerable groups. Finally, Juan Gambina (Jobsplus) presented Leap 2 Enterprise, a project aimed at developing self-entrepreneurship amongst people in vulnerable situations with obstacles to access mainstream support to business creation.
The ETN meeting also offered updates on the state of play of the LTU project and on the paper on Socially Innovative Entrepreneurship after feedback received from TN members.
The rest of the day was devoted to group work. Participants offered their views on the topic of job carving and job crafting and answered the following questions:
- what is the state of play of job carving and job crafting in your country or region?
- what are the lessons learnt to share on job carving and job crafting?
- what can/should ESF do to support job carving and job crafting?
In her concluding address, Caroline Meyers, Chair of the ETN, announced that the input and conclusions reached at the meeting would be at the base of a workshop on the topics of Job crafting and Job crafting at the conference of the ESF Transnational Platform, which will take place in Brussels on 21st and 22nd of May 2019. She also conducted an evaluation of the work of the network and collected insights from members on the way ahead for the ETN.