The European Commission has published the first set of results of a scheme introduced last year to support regions undergoing industrial transition.
Two EU Member States and 10 regions applied for support through the programme, which offered funding and expert advice for areas “struggling to adapt” to changing industrial and economic needs. Each area in receipt of support had lost a substantial amount of industrial jobs in the last 15 years; and the scheme enabled regional and national authorities to benefit from the expertise of Commission representatives over the last year to help them develop plans to stimulate economic growth and job creation. All recipients have now developed individual pilot schemes, which will each receive a grant of €300,000. The schemes include:
- Training and reskilling programmes in Cantabria, Spain and Centre-Val de Loire, France, aimed at enabling local residents to find employment in emerging sectors;
- Research and development programmes in Grand Est and Hauts-de-France, France; East-North Finland; North-Middle Sweden; Piedmont, Italy; Saxony, Germany; and Wallonia, Belgium, focusing on the circular economy, transition to renewable energy and implementing emerging technology solutions in business;
- A “circular economy roadmap” to be implemented across industry in Lithuania;
- A “Good Employment Charter” to promote job quality, productivity, wages and skills development across local companies in Greater Manchester, UK; and
- An online and physical platform to be implemented in Slovenia, aimed at developing industry throughout the country with technological concepts such as cybersecurity and cloud computing.
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “Based on the first results of this initiative, I invite all regions to replicate the experience in the future. They should identify weaknesses to address and assets to build on to haul themselves up the value chain in our globalised economy. To achieve this, they will have access to more than €90 billion of cohesion funding for research, innovation and small and medium businesses in the next long term EU budget.”