The Kursaal Congress Center in Donostia will host the 5th Employment Congress on October 27 and 28. The event will be a meeting point for professionals and experts who work around employment and will generate a space for reflection on Basque employment policies with the aim of building a decent work environment in a sustainable economy and competitive. For two days, experts from various fields will present their point of view on key issues in the field of employment, such as transformations, the guarantee of decent work, inequalities or the future labor law, in different presentations and round tables. Next, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Inclusion, Alfonso Gurpegui, details the objectives of the Employment Congress and what are some of the lines of action on which his department of the Basque government has been working.
What are the objectives pursued by the Congress?
Since we entered 2020, we have adopted the objective of establishing a space for reflection on the employment of the academic, political and professional spheres that would allow us to define the main objectives of the legislature: the construction of the system of Basque employment through regulations that regulate; the reform of Lanbide and its strengthening as a central public employment service; and the identification of areas of action in terms of employment and training which would make it possible to better qualify job seekers and respond to new needs.
How has the congress evolved in recent years?
In this fifth edition we begin to see some of the things that we started three years ago, such as the draft Basque labor law that we are going to present, there is also a draft labor law at the state level and we will share and oppose these two objectives knowing that they are aligned.
Another objective will be to advance in some of the elements to which the law points, such as the right to decent work or public employment policies. The law speaks of decent work, the need for employment services to move in the direction of decent and decent work and to advance in the consolidation of public employment policies as a subjective right. We will have a presentation on this subject in which we will see what the trends are at European level and what the practices have been.
Transitions will also be the center of attention during the Congress…
Yes, we will try to analyze to what extent they will impact employment and having to respond to the digital transition, demographic change or energy transformation will force us to update the services file.
Inequalities generated by the labor market will also be addressed…
The labor market generates inequalities linked to the digital divide, age, gender or training. We will try to analyze to what extent we can reduce these inequalities with the public employment services.
Who is the congress for?
To people who work in the field of employment: in public institutions, in town halls, in Lanbide, in general councils, in third sector entities, many of which collaborate with the employment service or in centers private, in training companies, human resources… In short, to the people who surround the executive who moves in the employment system, whether from a professional or political point of view.
They will talk about job transitions and transformation. What will employment look like at the end of this decade?
Experts point out that all transitions will generate the disappearance of many jobs and the appearance of others. Many that relate to low value-added, repetitive crafts will cease to exist and be replaced by machines. We are in another dimension, but in the same situation where the industrial revolution proposed the substitution of human labor for that of machines. So many repetitive tasks have been replaced by machines, but other opportunities have arisen and the same is going to happen right now. We have to try to ensure that big inequalities or a very dualistic society don’t result from all this, in which people who have a lot of control over technology are very well paid and others who have to take care of other jobs, like caregiving, are poorly paid. We need to focus on jobs that are going to be needed outside of digitalisation, such as care, where there is a very large job opportunity and we need to ensure that this does not lead to the emergence of dual markets. We will also talk about all this.
What is a decent job?
The one that allows you to lead a dignified and quality life, with access to basic goods such as housing and the maintenance of your work. It should be a well-paid job, in acceptable safety and health conditions and with a professional projection to broaden your skills. We believe it is important that Basque labor law does not focus on just any job, but on the one that gives you the opportunity to develop your vital project and your work in safe conditions.
What will Basque labor law look like?
The regulation of labor rules is in the hands of the state and Basque labor law cannot be included in labor regulations. What it can do is articulate, stimulate and help, for example, collective bargaining. An element that state law indicates and that is fundamental for the articulation of the best working conditions.
There is not much left for baby boomers to start retiring. How to deal with this situation from the point of view of employment?
It is an opportunity because it will allow us a more adapted generational change. The departure of several people from this age group will allow other people who today have difficulty entering the labor market to do so. We are talking about the lack of people who can meet the needs and what must be done is to value the people who are on the job market and those who can come. Sometimes people over 45-50 are expelled from the labor market and this will be an opportunity for them to continue to provide their knowledge and support the integration of young people entering the labor market.