The consequences of demographic change and its economic effects,
especially on the labour market, are noticeable in all subregions of the EMR and are an important political issue for the future. This development may lead to a shortage of highly skilled workers in just a few years as the working population is ageing and shrinking due to low fertility rates. In addition to that, highly skilled employees tend to leave the region because of a perceived lack of career opportunities in the border areas, mostly in favour of the national core regions.
However, seen as a whole, as the EMR is located in the heart of Europe it offers exceptional career and lifestyle opportunities. It is the youRegion project’s goal to make highly skilled and high-potential candidates more aware of these opportunities, to encourage them to expand their concept of career and lifestyle in relation to geographical borders and to limit the perceived negative effects of said borders. Due to the continuous efforts to address local challenges regarding the labour market and the possibility of learning from already existing best practice initiatives, the entire labour market topic is now seen as a cross-border issue.
Setting up cross-border trilateral placement services
contributes to combating unemployment and activating untapped potential.By establishing and promoting a euroregional welcome culture we hope to attract new highly skilled employees and their families to settle down in the EMR. The euroregional welcome culture should be an addition to already existing national and local efforts to attract talent. Two aspects: cross-border labour market and welcome culture.
youRegion focuses on two aspects:
the cross-border labour market and the concept of a euregional welcome culture for newcomers. The project will create a sustainable and coordinated euregional, advisory and placement structure for the cross-border labour market.
Through the cooperation of existing services such as the SGAs (service points for cross-border job placement), GIPs (cross-border information points) and expat centres/welcome centres (Expat Centre Maastricht Region ; Newcomer Service of the City of Aachen ; Dual Career Service of the RWTH Aachen University) as well as the establishment of new services – an SGA in Kelmis (East Belgium) and an Expat Centre in Hasselt – the regional shortages of skilled workers are expected to be effectively countered. New employment opportunities should also open up for job seekers across borders, while exceeding and complementing the national offerings.
As a logical consequence
the number of cross-border commuters in the EMR can be expected to increase.There is a real „war for talent“. In various sectors, highly skilled workers can already choose from a large number of vacancies; but what exactly makes a location attractive for the target group? In addition to general workplace conditions, the soft location factors – such as the quality of life in a city and the surrounding region – play an important role in the choice of an area to settle in.
The appeal of a region as a place to live and work
for international skilled workers has become an important factor in the competition between cities and regions. The establishment of a euregional welcome culture will contribute to:
- establishing the EMR as an attractive place to work and live;
- offering excellent research and employment opportunities;
- keeping talent in the region for the long term;
- making the EMR more attractive for employers and companies.
YouRegion is an Interreg V A project (Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine) and is cofunded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).