‘ICT is our greatest asset as it affects all parts of social life’ (Project G@together)

JPI Urban Europe project G@together without barriers aims to support cities in becoming more competitive, innovative business locations by seizing existing potentials of highly qualified but disadvantaged groups with regards to labour market participation.G@together will specifically look at the cities of Vienna and Istanbul.

What do you exactly mean by ‘disadvantaged groups of job seekers’?

G@together: ‘This term refers to job seekers facing particular barriers to access urban labour markets. This might include factors such as age, gender, ethnicity or origin. Indeed, these groups are not homogenous, however, there are gaps in several indicators in both cities, Istanbul and Vienna. For example, indicators of unemployment rates or employment below a person’s actual qualification level. In Istanbul, the potential candidates are discriminated individuals on the basis of age and gender. The former refers to what might be called “information age victims”, the latter focusses on highly qualified women, who interrupted their careers because of maternity. In Vienna, we will focus on residents with a so-called “migrant background” as this group can be considered as particularly vulnerable in terms of labour market integration. Together, it makes a comprehensive approach.’

In what ways do you involve all different stakeholders?

G@together: ‘There are different levels of involvement; expert interviews with stakeholders being the lowest level and active participation in a project specific Advisory Board based on a common Letter of Intent, being the highest level. We make use of different channels: all partners have their relevant networks, we frequently visit conferences and other events to get in touch. In Istanbul, there will, for example, be a close relation with the municipality.’

As the organisation Inset Research and Advisory you are operating on the intersection of ICT and social sciences. Do you think this could help in realising the project’s aims?

G@together: ‘Yes, definitely. I guess this is our greatest asset. ICT – at Inset we also use the broader term “digital transformation” – heavily affects all parts of social life. Yet, ICT-related research and social research tend to speak different languages. Our expertise will help us to develop an online job-matching platform, that is scientifically sound on the one hand and user-friendly and the other hand.’

What are your ambitions for the project. What would you like to have achieved once the project is finalised?

G@together: ‘We want to contribute by making hidden but precious skills, qualifications and informal professional experiences a little bit more visible. This would be a win-win for both, urban areas as business locations and disadvantaged groups alike. Referring to the G@together platform, we want to develop it as far as possible. For Istanbul, we have already some potential end users which we see as potential partners for the pilot application. It might not be entirely ready-to-use in the end, but we would be happy if stakeholders will say: “This will help, we should draw upon this!’





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