Fast-Five with PILLARS Coordinator Oliver Falck

PILLARS coordinator, Oliver Falck, explains what prompted the creation of yet another labour market think-tank.

Given the many think-tanks and research organisations devoted to labour, why Pillars? What is the rationale behind its creation?

New technologies have always proved disruptive to labour markets. Witness the advent of motor vehicles and their effect on the thousands of jobs related to horse-drawn carriages, to name but one. But the digital revolution is on a far different scale. Its scope, spread and, most of all, speed make it highly disruptive to the way we live, work, do business and entertain ourselves. And, of course, it poses the mother of disruptions to the labour market.

This is where Pillars comes in: how to make sense of this technological wave, how to ride it instead of being swamped by it, how to devise policies to adopt technologies while minimising their negative effects, what skills to develop, how to adapt education and training systems and so on.

How are the member institutions selected?

Basically on the merits of their competencies, scientific excellence and regional knowledge. Given that Pillars places a special focus on relations between the EU and Latin America and China, it greatly values the partnerships with institutions from these regions.

What is in it for them?

Funding for state-of-the-art research, cooperation with top researchers, a platform to discuss their research results with relevant stakeholders, and greater impact of their research in policymaking.

What is Pillars’s target audience?

Clearly, not only the scientific community, but also policymakers, employers, unions, education and training providers, businesses and, of course, the wider public. So, basically, everyone.

What is Pillars’s output and impact expected to be?

Pillars will provide ground-breaking analyses, forecasted scenarios on the future of work in European regions and beyond, and a policy toolkit to achieve inclusive labour markets.

It will also devise evidence-based policy options and contribute to informed public debate, especially on methods and processes for upgrading skills and easing mobility.

The inclusive bit in our motto comes from an emphasis on how to redesign education and training systems and expand learning opportunities for those who are most likely to be excluded from the labour market.

Coordinator Oliver Falck