Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

20/04/2021 - 22/04/2021

PES Network stakeholder conference 2021: the power of PES partnerships

The 2021 edition of the PES Network stakeholder conference explored how working with partners can help PES to build stronger labour markets and provide better services to clients - all under the conference theme: ‘The Power of PES Partnerships’.

Following opening messages from Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Johannes Kopf, Chair of the PES Network, the event featured a mix of panel discussions, interactive workshops and webinar-style sessions – all taking place online over three consecutive half-days.

The Conference took place as follows, with all workshop sessions including inspiring practical examples of PES partnership initiatives and responses, involving presentations from representatives of PES and their partners, from across Europe.

You can find the full agenda, conference paper and input papers for each day of the Conference under ‘Related documents’ at the foot of the page.

Day 1, 20 April: Introducing the PES partnership ecosystem

On the first morning, expert contributors updated all participants on the latest trends and prospects for partnership:

  • Anette Scoppetta, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research
  • Alex Nunn, Derby University
  • Sukti Dasgupta, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • John Hurley, Eurofound

This was followed by two rounds of two webinar-style sessions covering each of the four types of partnership identified in the 2020 PES Network paper on PES partnership management:

  1. Agile partnerships
  2. Sub-contracted partnerships
  3. Co-constructed partnerships
  4. Supportive partnerships

Day 2, 21 April: Practical partnership responses to the pandemic

The second morning started with a high-level panel discussing partnerships in the context of COVID:

  • Johannes Kopf, Chair of the PES Network
  • Maxime Cerutti, BusinessEurope
  • Claude Denagtergal, ETUC
  • Liliane Volozinskis, SMEUnited
  • Guillaume Afellat, SGI Europe

Participants then broke into five parallel interactive workshops (40 people max) to discuss the provision of services through partnership during the Covid crisis in terms of:

  1. Support for SMEs
  2. Support for vulnerable groups
  3. Support for post-COVID recovery
  4. Short-time work schemes
  5. Support to youth

The day’s conference activities concluded with an informal online networking lunch.

Day 3, 22 April: The future employment services ecosystem

The conference concluded with reflections on how PES partnerships are likely to evolve and need to evolve in the future. The day started with three keynote presentations:

  • The future labour market, by Theodora Xenogiani, Senior economist, OECD
  • The future employment service ecosystem, by Menno Bart, Member of the Executive Committee, World Employment Confederation (WEC)
  • The changing role of PES, by Spiros Protopsaltis, Director-General of PES Greece and Vice-Chair of the PES Network and Benoît Miller, Head of the Digital Transformation Service at PES Belgium-Brussels

Two rounds of participatory parallel workshops (~20 people) then discussed the following subjects:

  1. Partnerships and the changing labour market
  2. Partnerships for orienting and re-integrating PES clients in a digital world
  3. Impact of technology on future relationships
  4. The changing role of PES as part of the future employment service ecosystem

Johannes Kopf, Chair of the PES Network concluded the conference with a closing speech in which he thanked all participants for their engagement and highlighted that partnerships will remain high on the future agenda of the PES Network.

The PES Network Stakeholder Conference is the major annual event bringing together representatives of Public Employment Services (PES) with other key labour market organisations to share and exchange about topics of key relevance for Europe’s evolving employment market. The 2021 edition took place 100% online. The working language was English, with interpretation provided during plenary sessions in French, German, and Spanish.

Please find the full agenda and input paper for each day of the Conference under ‘Related documents’ below.



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