Equal at work
Building an Irish labour market based on equality and diversity
(Equal project 2007-2009)
The project aimed at creating a more equal and accessible labour market. The focus has been on a large scale reform and development of HR policies and practice in public, private, health and community/voluntary sectors.
Why best practice?
In a time of booming economy, Equal at Work has been very successful in realizing the idea of making the labour market “more accessible to people rather than trying to make people change to fit the labour market”. The project has managed to develop broad strategic cooperation and bring together 50 organizations in order to reach the project goals
The project was targeted widely to vulnerable groups in the labour market (migrants, women, older workers) with poor formal qualifications.
A major product has been the development of competency-based recruitment for entry-level jobs, an innovation which also has been mainstreamed throughout Irish local authorities, being now part of national policy. Furthermore, tools have been developed (an Interview Skills Pack for the Competency Based Interview Process) to help workers to benefit from job interviews and lifelong learning opportunities. Mainstreaming of the product led to a potential opening up of thousands of jobs to people with the necessary skills but without the formal qualifications.
A good deal of the success is based on utilizing of an inclusive method of social dialog in learning and innovation in public social policy initiatives. To involve partners in each sector - through “clusters” - to identify themselves the needs and opportunities to be addressed through the project, has been a very successful approach.
Project evaluator: We found out that examples from other parts of Europe can be implemented in Dublin area. We also saw how cooperation among Irish partners coming from different sectors (health sector, local authorities, private sector) can be deepened and enhanced by international cooperation.
To learn more about the European cooperation experience from this project, see the whole interview with the promoter here.