B-WISE at the Social Economy Conference

B-WISE at the Social Economy Conference "People. Planet. Action" in San Sebastian, 13-14 November 2023


The B-WISE project was presented at the workshop on unpskilling and reskilling, in the framework of the Social Economy Conference "People. Planet. Action" hosted by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in San Sebastian.

The workshop on upskilling and reskilling, hosted by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in the framework of the Social Economy Conference "People, Planet, Action" taking place in San Sebastian on the 13th and the 14th of November 2023, convened a distinguished panel, featuring Giuseppe Guerini, spokesperson for the social economy category of the European Economic and Social Committee and CECOP-CICOPA President; Sarah de Heusch, Director of Social Economy Europe; Gerardo Gutiérrez Ardoy, General Director of the Spanish State Public Employment Service; Corine van de Burgt, President of the European Network of Social Integration Enterprises (ENSIE); and Alessia Sebillo, Executive Director of Diesis Network. The panel addressed pertinent issues within the social economy sphere, shedding light on critical aspects of skills development and capacity building.

Central to the discourse was the recognition of the unique intricacies inherent to social economy entities when navigating the landscape of skills enhancement. Panelists underscored the necessity of acknowledging the diverse competencies demanded within different organizational frameworks, emphasizing the nuanced skill sets required within member-owned organizations compared to conventional businesses.

A cornerstone of the dialogue revolved around the imperative of fostering social inclusion through comprehensive training initiatives, particularly within Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs). Participants highlighted the pivotal role of training and capacity-building programs in empowering individuals from all backgrounds to actively contribute to and thrive within the social economy sector.

Integral to the proceedings were updates on key initiatives such as the EU Pact for Skills and the Bwise and baSE EU blueprint projects, pivotal in identifying skills needs and catalyzing targeted interventions. Challenges like limited access to financing and the complexities of navigating diverse tools and platforms emerged as significant hurdles in the upskilling and reskilling landscape.

During an interactive digital polling session, participants shared that economic and financial literacy, alongside soft skills like adaptability and cooperation, are crucial in driving success within the social economy sector. Also, there was a unanimous call for enhanced policy focus at the national level, with a spotlight on employment policy and the legal recognition of training efforts.

The workshop ended with a strong reminder of the significant progress made by social economy groups. There was a clear commitment to staying inclusive and supporting those in need.

The European Commission  support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The B-WISE project, Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills in Work Integration Social Enterprises, is an Erasmus + project coordinated by EASPD with the support of ENSIE.