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Minister Smerkolj on the role of alignment of development policies at the conference Local Job Creation


Brdo pri Kranju, 5 September 2017 – Minister Alenka Smerkolj and Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Dr Anja Kopač Mrak met with the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ángel Gurría at the OECD LEED closing conference Local Job Creation: Employment and Skills Strategies in Slovenia. Results of the review on the effectiveness of labour market policies and development of local employment opportunities at the local level, with an emphasis on the Drava River basin and South-eastern Slovenia with the Kolpa River basin, were disseminated on this occasion. The review was carried out in the scope of the Local Job Creation project which received a contribution from the European Social Fund (ESF) totalling EUR 125,000.


Additionally, the OECD review on local job creation, which was carried out across a number of other OECD countries, results in delivery of practical and evidence-based recommendations for future labour market measures, employment measures and education and training measures, including the role of knowledge and skills utilisation to enhance productivity and innovation. Emphasis is especially given to integration of national policies and strategies with policies at the regional and local level. Minister Smerkolj welcomed the recommendations, highlighting in particular the value of improved coordination and enhanced skills for adding value and the importance of aligning the policies to local economic conditions and development challenges to facilitate job creation. Minister Smerkolj underlined that important steps had been made in terms of integration and cooperation between the ministries and stakeholders. She drew attention to the necessary adoption of interdisciplinary approach and alignment of development policies by underlining that ’’active labour market policy measures are necessary for us to achieve higher employment rates. We have made considerable progress in this regard in the past few years. However, there is room for improvement, and stand-alone measures do not suffice as they do not bring sustainable long-term results. Instead, we need joint, coordinated and consistent measures in different areas under responsibility of different ministries’’. The Minister once again recalled how important it was to have development policies aligned in the areas of research, innovation, education, employment, and promotion of entrepreneurship and economic activity. Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy took into account policy coordination and integration in the development of the Smart Specialization Strategy of Slovenia (S4) which acts as the central implementing RDI document translating policies into tangible actions and supporting concentration of development resources on identified areas.


Minister Smerkolj emphasised that Slovenia is on the right track and making steadfast progress in terms of implementation of S4 through promotion of interdisciplinary approach, multi-level governance via strategic-research and innovation partnerships and actions targeting development of human resources, skills and knowledge. ‘’Development policy priorities which were designed and agreed by the relevant stakeholders are taking shape, they are being translated into something tangible through the adoption of strategic-research and innovation partnerships. Development funding will not only be concentrated on RDI areas, but also on human resources development, internationalisation and economic diplomacy,’’ added Alenka Smerkolj.