Project Untangled

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Project Untangled


    More than 20 participants from three continents came together online to discuss labour-market issues during the fourth edition of the UNTANGLED Open Virtual Expert Café on 31 August. Attendees were drawn from academia, research institutes and social partners, including presentations from Colombia and South Africa.


    The August meet-up hosted eight presentations:

    Laurène Thil of HIVA KU Leuven discussed the challenges posed by the recent European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2021 for Belgium, stemming from changes to the questionnaire that have made it impossible to analyse certain topics.


    Irene Provvidenza of Wise Town, a division of TeamDev software house, presented a set of applications designed to enhance and optimise the use of city data. TeamDev’s Thematic Dashboard allows users to monitor, analyse and visualize a wide range of topics such as migration, urbanisation and, social and economic values.


    Cristina Fernandez of Fedesarrollo presented research on measuring informality in the Colombian economy. Informal businesses and workers are found through combining business, household and structural surveys. While the informal sector contributes to the labour market considerably, stronger enforcement of labour market regulations reduces informality.


    Myrielle Gonshor from the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research discussed a paper she wrote together with Ronald Bachmann, Piotr Lewandowski and Karol Madoń as part of the UNTANGLED project, showing that the rise in robot installations in European economies increased employment in 2004-2018. The study also found that while the general impact of robotisation on employment was positive in the EU, it was stronger in countries with lower labour costs.


    Klavs Ciprikis of ESRI presented preliminary results of a case study performed within the UNTANGLED project and focusing on the blockchain sector in Ireland. The study explores inequality, employment and skill patterns in this sector and finds a disconnect between the blockchain sector and higher education institutions, as well as a gender gap.


    Caitlin Allen Whitehead at the University of Cape Town’s Development Policy Research Unit presented preliminary results of a case study performed for UNTANGLED on policies implemented in South Africa to stimulate the growth of the business sector, which is well positioned to create inclusive growth. With the right policies and training in place, the sector can absorb young, inexperienced workers and help them acquire transferable skills.


    Andrés García Suaza, Universidad de Rosario, presented his research on the impact of immigration from Venezuela on the Colombian labour market, showing that 1.8 million migrant workers are mainly employed in the informal sector.


    Isabelle Rabaud of Université d’Orléans presented tentative results of her study on migration and skill supply, carried out as part of UNTANGLED. On the supply side she found that migrants coming to the EU typically are in their late 30s and 40s, and do not have higher education; currently they mainly find employment in medium-skilled occupations. At the same time the demand for digital skills, management skills and some soft skills is growing in Germany and France.


    The collected slides are available here.


    The date of the next Café will be announced soon. Please check our website and social media for announcements.


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    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004776

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