On April 24th, 2024 the team from University College Cork have organised the first reflective meeting as a part of a project SYNCLUSIVE which took place in University College Cork.

A team of researchers from CUBS (Dr. Frank Crowley, Prof. Justin Doran, and Dr. Tracy Bradfield), are leading work on the upscaling of the research findings in SYNCLUSIVE project across the EU to guide policy recommendations. Engagement with stakeholders is key to this work and the first meeting with local, regional, and national stakeholders in Ireland was a success.

Key local and national stakeholders including employers, local government, IDA and Enterprise Ireland reps, representatives from educational institutions, and NGOs attended the reflective workshop which focused on ‘how could the Living Lab be implemented in Ireland, given our own legislative, social security and cultural situation’. The workshop explored the transferability of the Living Lab to the Irish context, which will also help inform EU-wide policy recommendations.

The SYNCLUSIVE project aligns with CUBS Strategic Vision where equality, diversity, and inclusivity underpin our operational values. CUBS remains dedicated to promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equality, both within our institution and beyond, and recognizes and appreciates the significant contributions these values make to regional, national, and EU communities.

Under the guidance of the CUBS research team, a series of similar events will be held in Ireland and other European countries over the coming 3 years to gain further insights into what supports aid inclusivity in the labour market.

 Dr. Frank Crowley, CUBS Vice Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, is the UCC principal investigator and he notes, “we are delighted to secure Horizon Europe funding to support vulnerable groups in the EU labour market. The €3 million SYNCLUSIVE project will embed a system approach in EU test regions to help close the employment gap and create a more inclusive labour market for vulnerable groups.  Our role (UCC) will become more prominent as we learn from the living lab implementation cases in Portugal, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands. We will assess the impact of the implemented ENGINE approach on the labour market mobility and inclusion of vulnerable groups and identify transition pathways that could be applied in other regions and contexts in the EU. Our key focus will be to identify interoperable and comparative indicators and standards that are relevant for the labour market inclusion of vulnerable groups taking into account diverse regional, national and cultural contexts.”

Photo credit: UCC