• Erna van der Werff

European organisations join forces to preparing individuals and communities for the opportunities an

“Gig.” You’ve probably heard it mentioned in different contexts. Gigging was originally musicians’ slang for a performance. Nowadays, it has come to mean so much more. A gig economy nowadays represents an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

In October 2019, organisations from across Europe got together in Carlingford, IE to kick-off a 2,5-year cooperation that addresses both the opportunities and the threaths that are captured in the emerging Gig economy.

Led by the Meath County Counsil in Ireland, the consortium will facilitate knowledge development about the emerging GIG economy and share, discuss and develop effective methods to address it. Besides raising awareness and uniting stakeholders from education, government and the labour market on the topic, the partners will develop and run a vocational training programme for youth and those affected most by the gig economy labour market.

“Gigs can be full- or part-time, or even one-off projects. There are gigs to be found at the highest professional levels and in the minimum wage “service on-demand” sector. The essential qualifier is that workers are not employees with benefits but independent contractors. More and more of us are participating in the gig economy, creating a robust market for the millions of work-for-hire individuals.” say Connor Patterson, director of WIN Consulting in Dundalk, IE.

Joe English of the Meath County Counsil adds: “Meanwhile, surprisingly little is known about the realities of ‘gig work’. Is it a liberating new form of self-employment or a new form of exploitation? There is a growing need to reflect on how society deals with these changes in a manner that protects and educates young people.”

Besides lead partner Meath County Counsil and regional partner WIN Consultants from Ireland, VET college Friesland College and the Learning Hub Friesland Foundation from the Netherlands, the municipality of Vedra and AGACA from Spain and the municipality of Capannori and Formetica from Italy participate in the project.

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