KEHSIA at the #EURegionsWeek 2023! 

KEHSIA had the pleasure of participating in the EU Week of Regions and Cities 2023, which provided an incredible opportunity to discuss and learn about the latest regional-level policies introduced by the EU for skills development and the inclusion of young talent in the job market.  

Particularly compelling was the EU session “Retaining talent for regional growth” which brought together speakers and experts to share insights on attracting and retaining talent, regional growth, and depopulation. We were extremely grateful for having the opportunity to attend such a stimulating event, full of tips and success stories from EU regions and cities which strive to increase opportunities for young people and promote innovation!

Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the Secretariat General of the European Commission, underlined the synergy between the European Year of Skills and the demographic challenges Europe is now facing. She particularly emphasised the importance of upskilling and reskilling to boost the talent pool across the Union and tackle skills shortages that are putting increasing pressure on European SMEs.  

The event covered two particularly virtuous talent attraction initiatives from the City of Bologna (Italy) and the Castilla-La Mancha region (Spain). Anna Lisa Boni (Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Bologna) provided inspiring insights on a local approach to attracting and retaining talent. Initiatives like “Invest in Bologna” and “Bologna for Talent” focus on aligning skills with business needs: funding from cohesion policy played a pivotal role in these efforts, leading to the creation of regional legislation dedicated to talent retention.  

On the other hand, in Castilla-La Mancha depopulation remains a significant challenge in Castilla-La Mancha. That’s why, utilising support from the Commission’s Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI), the region is now implementing measures to attract young workers back from abroad and increase the population in rural areas. Initiatives include tax incentives, reopening rural schools, infrastructure restoration, and flexible transportation. 

Last but not least, representatives of the University of Tartu (Estonia) and of the University of Southern Denmark highlighted the transformative role of higher education in increasing local competitiveness and innovation. Both universities are exploring new strategies to strengthen the synergy between the university and local SMEs and enterprises, especially in the field of robotics and AI. Such mutual exchange between higher education and companies is significantly enhancing the local communities’ ability to retain young minds for research, innovation and development.   

Overall, this EU Session and the overall EURegionsWeek 2023 underscored the significance of talent development, adapting policies to regional needs, and addressing challenges such as depopulation and brain drain. These insights will definitely play a vital role in shaping the future of regional growth and prosperity in the European Union! 

As a participant in the EU Week of Regions and Cities 2023, KEHSIA has gained invaluable insights and knowledge that will undoubtedly shape our future initiatives. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to implement these newly acquired notions and ideas into our daily work, furthering our commitment to empowering young people!

Looking forward to the next #EURegionsWeek !