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Degroof Petercam Foundation mandates the first study on the employment sector-hero-img

Degroof Petercam Foundation mandates the first study on the employment sector

By Florence Desmarets - Degroof Petercam Foundation Impact Manager
For the first time since its creation in 2008, Degroof Petercam Foundation collaborated with a university’s researchers institute to conduct a study on the employment sector: ‘Employment and Job Creation in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg: analysis, vulnerable groups and solutions’.
In 2019, Degroof Petercam Foundation (DPF) commissioned The Esade Entrepreneurship Institute (Barcelona) to lead a research study on the employment situation in Europe, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, to further identify the most vulnerable groups and to create an overview on the existing solutions covered by public & private initiatives.

In January 2022, DPF and Esade co-organized the restitution of the study through a live webinar. The webinar has been recorded and is now available.
The presented webinar is composed of two major parts, 1. a theoretical part with the restitution of the study and 2. an on-the-field part with the intervention of two social entrepreneurs:
1. Esade researchers present the study in two phases.
  • The first one is data driven and aims at showing the main trends in a European context in terms of employment, un/underemployment and aims at identifying the most vulnerable groups.
  • The second one focuses on the labor policy and the existing solutions from public and private initiatives for inclusions in the labor market.
2. Ophélie Mortier, Responsible Investment Strategist at DPAM, moderated the debate between both social entrepreneurs and provided her insights based on her expertise in different ESG strategies. The two social entrepreneurs, Emmanuelle Larroque – Founder of Social Builder and Julie Bodson – Deputy General Director of Duo for a Job, intervened to react on the key takeaways of the study and bring it to life via their hands-on experience.

Hereunder, please find the recorded webinar as well as the written report of the study.
From the start, the Foundation’s ultimate goal has been twofold.
  • First, DPF acts as a center of philanthropic excellence at the service of the Bank and our clients.
  • Second, we aim at supporting innovative solutions for employment as we strongly believe employment is one of the main sources of individual and collective prosperity.
Following this vision, Degroof Petercam Foundation chose to dedicate €1 million per year to support social innovations for employment in their scaling phase and ambition to reach a systemic impact. Until now, the Foundation adopted a bottom-up and agnostic approach which means that we support organizations directly from the field and via defined selection criteria.
However, due to the complexity of the employment sector thematic, we identified the need to further improve our understanding of the subject, in Europe but more particularly in the three countries where the Bank and therefore the Foundation are active, namely Belgium, France and Luxembourg.


The key findings of the research are the following:
  • Prevalence of programs targeted at youth, consistent with them being among the vulnerable cohorts identified.
  • Under-representation of programs targeting women and people with an immigrant background, which are among the most vulnerable groups identified.
  • Public and private interventions coincide with counselling and training as the most frequent ones, consistent with the diagnosis of low skills being one of the barriers for integration into labor markets. However, more could be done to address the match of skills for the future labor market.
  • More individualized approaches are necessary for some of these vulnerable groups.
  • The lack of public information on the effectiveness of the different types of Active Labor Market Policies reviewed is consistent, although private initiatives seem to be strengthening their data gathering efforts.
Based on these findings, Degroof Petercam Foundation has gotten a clarified image on the issues it should further focus on in the future. The spirit of the Foundation is indeed to continue funding research to sharpen our expertise via deep-dives in specific topics, and therefore be more effective and make a difference where the blind spots remain.

With the collaboration of

Researchers: Maria Sanchez, Maria Laffaire and Elena Costas. Academic Supervision: Lisa Hehenberger and Ignasi Marti Lanuza

Degroof Petercam Foundation mandates the first study on the employment sector-logo
Esade Center for Social Impact & Esade Institute for Social Innovation.
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