Representatives of the WeLaR consortium’s 10 members met on May 16 in Leuven, Belgium to ensure we are on track with fulfilling our research plans and to discuss the next steps, events and potential challenges.
Mikkel Barslund (HIVA KU Leuven), project manager of WeLaR, welcomed all 22 participants, stressing the importance of collaboration for ensuring the quality of our deliverables. Next he gave the floor to Laurène Thil (HIVA KU Leuven), who presented an overview of the activities planned for the next 12 months, including papers and events. Laurène also talked about the WeLaR report that will present the state of the art on the megatrends’ impacts on labour market and welfare states, giving researchers access to current research.
Researchers Fabio Lamperti (UNIPG), Sandra Leitner (wiiw), Zuzanna Kowalik (IBS), Piotr Lewandowski (IBS), Ludivine Martin (LISER) , Javier Olivera (LISER), Cristiano Perugini (UNIPG), Fabrizio Pompei (UNIPG), Katrin Sommerfeld (ZEW), Holger Stichnoth (ZEW), Sem Vandekerckhove (HIVA KU Leuven), Bart Vanhercke (OSE), Marko Vladisavljević (EKOF) and Stella Zilian (wiiw), who are leading teams that will write 24 papers and five policy briefs, talked about the research agenda, specifying aims and motivations, research questions they seek to answer, and methods and data they plan to use. They also informed consortium members at what stage of the research process their teams are and flagged potential challenges such as data availability and methodological issues. Each presentation was followed by a more detailed discussion in smaller groups of scholars who work on a particular topic.
During the meeting, we also talked about how to recruit and engage stakeholders in our research and how to effectively communicate WeLaR’s results to different audiences via our website, project newsletter and social media. Ursula Holtgrewe (ZSI)presented the plan of events for this year, with the next workshop on policies that encourage labour market participation to be organised by LISER in October 2023, and the first Virtual Expert Cafe in November 2023.