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.