Mountain ViewJohn Martin

John P. Martin was Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD from 2000 to early 2013.  He is an Irish citizen.  After studying Economics at University College Dublin, he worked as a research assistant at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin from 1970 to 1972; during this period, he was also economics correspondent for the Sunday Independent.  He did postgraduate studies at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1975, he became research fellow at Nuffield College and lecturer in economics at Merton College, Oxford; he also lectured in economics at the University of Buckingham.

He joined the OECD in 1977 and held many posts in the Organisation during his 36-year stint including in the Economics Department.  He was the founding editor of the OECD Employment Outlook from 1983 to 1986, and he also edited the OECD Economic Outlook in 1992-93.  He was a member of both the Editorial Board of OECD Economic Studies and an associate editor of Labour Economics for many years.  He was also the OECD sherpa to the G20 Labour ministerial process.  Other professional responsibilities include being: a Policy Associate of the Leverhulme Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy at the University of Nottingham; a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) in Bonn; A Fellow of the Global Labor Organisation (GLO);  an Adjunct Research Fellow, UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy; a member of the French Prime Minister’s “Conseil d’orientation pour l’emploi” from 2005 to January 2017; a member of the Strategic Board of the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire d’Evaluation des Politiques Publiques (LIEPP) at Sciences Po, Paris; a member of the Irish government’s Labour Market Council; a member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin. In 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.  In 2013, he delivered the 11th annual Corden Lecture at the University of Melbourne.  He was a part-time Professor at the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris for many years. 

He has published many articles on topics in labour economics and international trade in leading professional journals and has also written and edited several books in these fields, including a recent collaboration with the Bertelsmann Foundation on the political economy of labour market and social policy reforms in Europe.

Mountain ViewJohn McGrath

John McGrath is the research manager of SOLAS – the Further Education and Training Institute of Ireland. He has master’s degrees in economics, in statistics and in philosophy and is a former holder of the National University of Ireland scholarship. He is also a former economic adviser to the Irish Government and has over 35 years’ experience in labour market analyses and many publications to his name. He has worked in many European countries and central Asia as a consultant mainly for ETF, but also for the IMF and OECD.

Mountain ViewSeamus McGuinness

Seamus McGuinness is a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin. Prior to joining the ESRI, he held posts at Queens University Belfast, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic & Social Research (University of Melbourne). He obtained his PhD in Economics from Queens University Belfast in 2003. Seamus is an Adjunct Professor in the department of economics at Trinity College Dublin and an IZA research fellow. He is also the designated expert on the Irish labour market in the European Commission’s European Employment and Policy Observatory (EEPO).  He has published extensively on a range of topics including skill mismatches, wage gaps and unemployment activation schemes. 


 Mountain ViewWolfgang Mueller

Dr Wolfgang Mueller is the Managing Director for European Affairs at the Bundesagentur fuer Arbeit, the German Federal Employment Agency.

He is the representative of the German Federal Employment Agency in the Board of the European Network of Public Employment Services and in the EURES Management Board. He is member of several Advisory- and High Level Expert- Groups in the area of employment, education and migration.

Before he joined the German Federal Employment Agency he worked for the German Government with the United Nations and NATO.

He holds a MBA and a Ph.D. in Public Management.

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Aikaterini Alexomanolaki

Ms. Aikaterini Alexomanolaki is Deputy Head of VET Department of Employment  Directorate of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity. Her main responsibilities are, vocational education and training policies, enhancing skills for the unemployed and socially vulnerable groups in order to enter the labour market. She has represented the Hellenic Government  on meetings and committees of the European Union regarding matters of employment and vet policies. She  holds a Literature degree from the University of Athens, a master degree in European Social Policy from London School of Economics and Political Science and she joined the Ministry of Labour after graduated from the National School of Public Administration. She speaks English, Italian and Spanish.

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Vaso Anastasopoulou

Vaso Anastasopoulou is the Head of Development and European projects Department in DIMITRA Education and Consulting, a distinguished Organization with Training Centers in five cities in Greece.

Vaso has started to work for DIMITRA 14 years ago as a Deputy Training Director and up to date, she has implemented programmes for more than 40,000 learners. At her current position, her duties include research, innovation transfer and development of international collaborations. She has designed and managed over 150 programmes in the field of Education, Employment and Social Inclusion, which were funded by a diverse range of EL Government and EU sources, including Erasmus+, Leonardo, Grundtvig, Daphne, European Integration Fund, Equal, Adapt, Employment, Interreg, etc.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and an M.Sc. in Adult Education

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Theodoros Antoniades

After completing his Master’s degree in Business Administration at Cardiff University, he started his professional career in 2003 as a Sales Support Officer in MetLife Cyprus to finally occupy the position of Group Sales Executive in 2005. During that period, he was engaged in various tasks such as monitoring insurance agents accounts, keeping track of sales targets, analyzing sales forecasts, identifying new markets and business opportunities, gathering market and customer information and providing feedback on buying trends, negotiating the terms of agreements and closing sales, managing a portfolio of accounts and engaging in project management duties.

Since 2008, he has been working as a Human Resource Officer in Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA). he is involved in various Schemes regarding training and development such as in-house training of newly recruited staff and existing staff, job placement of unemployed tertiary education graduates and projects co-financed by the European Social Fund and HRDA. Since 2016, he overseew the Scheme for the training of the Long-term unemployed in Enterprises/Organisations.

Mountain ViewAna I. Azevedo

Ana I. Azevedo, Master in Pedagogy, Specialist Training of Trainers, is currently a Project Manager at ISQ in Portugal responsible for coordinating several projects in the training area and for the design and development of VET standards.

Mountain ViewTeresa Bento

Teresa Bento is a Senior Consultant in the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security) working in the development and monitoring of recognition of non-formal and informal learning, implemented in its network of vocational training centers.

She has been working in the Institute for the last 20 years in the development of vocational training standards, professional certification system, occupational and certification standards and in the implementation of methodologies for the recognition of professional competences.

She has a degree in sociology and post-graduation in Sociology of Work, Organisations and Employment.

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Raimonds Brīdaks

Raimonds Brīdaks (Latvia) is a Senior Expert at the Labour Market Policy Department of the Ministry of Welfare. He is a coordinator of Training Commission, which defines the training areas and approves the training programmes for unemployed. He elaborates the annual reports on the implementation of the active labour market policy measures in Latvia. Since 2013 his main fields of expertise are vocational skills for unemployed adults and VET. He currently studies in Master's programme of Strategic Management and Public Relations.


 Mountain ViewCarlo De Smedt

 As a master in organisational psychology, I started working in the internal training department of VDAB, the Flemish public employment service. Besides in house training - with a focus on didactics - I also delivered training sessions in private and public companies in leadership, communication, time management, project management, train the trainer, etc.

I was also involved in specific projects, both on a national and an European level. Some examples: developing training plans in SMEs, elaborating modular training flows in VDAB, competence development in the catering sector, mentorship in construction companies, experiential learning and social inclusion for long term unemployed.

Actually I monitor the technical competences of the VDAB-trainers and I am involved in updating their didactical skills, especially facing the challenge of the digitalisation of the learning environment.

 Mountain ViewCatalin Corneliu Ghinararu

Catalin Ghinararu is currently serving as Scientific Secretary of the National Labour Research Institute of Romania (INCSMPS). He is working with the organization since 1992 his tasks being in time research, project management, project development etc. Since 2001 (Sept.) he serves with the top management team of the National Institute as a scientific secretary. As a senior researcher Dr. Ghinararu has participated and conducted numerous projects, including ones with international participation, in complex assignments for the World Bank, the European Commission, the UNDP and ILO (pensions). He has also published with the OECD Development Centre. Dr. Ghinararu has in time tackled issues relating to employment, vocational education and training, active employment measures, pensions, retirement and active ageing, flexicurity, atypical employment, green jobs and rural economy, digital economy, human development, undeclared work etc.

Dr. Ghinararu has also been the architect of the Institute’s cooperation with the CEDEFOP Centre, both in the frame of the SkillsNet, where the Institute is actively participating, since its launch in 2005, in the development of the flagship initiative of Pan-European forecasting of the demand and supply of skills as well as in the frame Refernet network for information, documentation and research on VET, both under the aegis of the CEDEFOP center. Between 2009 and 2013 Ghinararu has served as REFERNET national coordinator for Romania. He serves currently as the SkillsNet expert for Romania. Dr. Ghinararu also contributed in the development of the EU Panorama of Skills instrument.  Dr. Ghinararu currently serves in the EELLN network and has been between 2012 and 2014 representing Romania in the ELGPN network. Between 2009 and 2012 Ghinararu has been a member of the FP7 Committee on Social Sciences and Humanities. Dr Ghinarau (born 1967) is by training an economist (1992), holding a Ph. D. in economics (1997) awarded by the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest-RO. Ghinararu is also an associate professor with the University of Bucharest (since 2012),  the faculty of Business and Administration.

 Mountain ViewMaria Karamesini

Maria Karamesini is professor of labour economics and economics of the welfare state and Director of the Centre for Gender Studies at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens). She has directed many research projects including the first Graduates’ Survey in Greece and has been member of all the European Commission expert groups on Gender and Employment since 1997 (EGGE, EGGSIE and currently ENEGE). She has recently published two articles on the gender impact of economic crises in Greece: “Labour market impact of four recessions on women and men in Greece: comparative analysis in a long term perspective” (Social Cohesion and Development 7(2), 2012) and “Strukturkrise, Schocktherapie und Gender in Griechenland” (in Ingrid Kurz-Scherf and Alexandra Scheele Hrsg.Macht oder ökonomisches Gesetz? 2012); and is the co-editor, with Jill Rubery, of the book “Women and Austerity. The Economic Crisis and the Future for Gender Equality”

Mountain ViewHetty van Kempen

Hetty van Kempen, PhD is a policy researcher at the municipal social service of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In general, the social services in The Netherlands have to serve more citizens, but also face decreasing budgets. Therefore, Amsterdam is focusing on the use of evidence-based knowledge in practice, in order to offer effective and efficient services to its citizens.

Hetty’s main areas of research are unemployment, poverty, effectivity of re-integration interventions, and participation of unemployed people. The outcomes of the various studies give input for policy adjustments, in order to improve overall effectivity and efficiency. The case to be discussed in the conference is the trainee internship, an intervention for medium- to long-term unemployed people that focuses on learning practical skills in order to increase the chances to find a regular, paid position. The effectivity, the conditions for effectivity and the restrictions will be discussed. Under what conditions does this intervention increase chances to find a job, and for whom?

 Mountain ViewMiroslava Klempová

Miroslava Klempová works at the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and is the state advisor at the Lifelong learning department. She focuses mostly on the issues connected with the education of low-skilled adults, as well as on education as a part of the integration process for adult asylum seekers.

She is one of the national experts on the National Qualifications System, as well as on the Slovak Qualifications Framework. She was directly involved in the implementation of the tools in Slovakia during the period of 2013-2015 at the State Vocational Institute.

At the Lifelong learning department she focuses mostly on promoting and establishing synergy of existing systems, connecting the existing practice of validation of non-formal and informal learning to them and their connection to the labour market.

  Mountain ViewMonika Korkosova

Monika Korkosova is the Director of Lifelong Learning Department at the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

She is responsible for the national adult learning strategies , she manages team of  national experts with a specific fokus on C-VET policies and work – based learning and the European and national tools for recognition and transparency of qualifications.

Ms Korkosova is a special advisor to the Slovak Commission for UNESCO in the field of Lifelong Learning.

Prior to her current appointment  at the ministry she worked at Junior Achievement Slovakia , Institute of Urban Development , AmCham Slovakia and served as the Executive Directore of  The Advertising Standards Council , the Slovakian advertising ethical self-regulation body.

   Mountain ViewSusanne Kraatz

Susanne Kraatz is currently National Expert at the European Parliament, Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policies, European providing analytical support for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee with a focus on strategies for labour market integration and skills development, seconded from the University of Applied Labour Studies of the Federal Employment Service Germany

Previous activities: Policy officer at the European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, responsible for the European Commission's mutual learning programme for Public Employment Services in Europe (PES-to-PES Dialogue), Member of the European Commission's Task Force Youth Guarantee, representative in the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, skills demand analysis (European Vacancy and Recruitment Report, European Vacancy Monitor), lecturer for employment policies and career guidance at the University of the Public Employment Service Germany.

 Mountain ViewNicole Lauer

After completing my Master’s degree in International Business Management at the University of Strasbourg in 2009, I signed my first employment contract at Banque Raiffeisen Luxembourg. I started as an administrative officer to finally occupy the position of project manager of its commercial network.

In November 2012, I switched to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where I mainly worked on developing a range of services for the new subsidiary Fundsquare S.A. Somewhat later, I became transaction manager in charge of the identification of internal and external needs, in order to optimize the monitoring process for order routing across different jurisdictions. Lastly, I occupied the position of client service manager for various companies that required a secure communication channel between their funds and the financial supervisory authority.

After five years of experience in the financial sector, I joined the employment agency - ADEM as head of the training department for jobseeker, in August 2015. Today, my tasks include the analysis of ongoing programs in order to ensure quality training, the identification of future training needs through job analysis, the pursue of new collaborations with external institutions and more generally the solving of any training related specific problem.

Mountain ViewAnia Mendrek

Ania has worked in the welfare-to-work market for more than a decade, from overseeing the delivery of programmes to solution design, stakeholder management and supply chain management.

Prior to joining MAXIMUS, she oversaw the delivery of award-winning European Social Fund funded projects, focusing on supporting the hardest-to-reach job seekers. Always keen to share best practice without boundaries, Ania also provided advice to governments across Europe on commissioning pilot projects around tackling long-term unemployment and youth unemployment.

With over 8 years of operational, ‘hands-on’ experience delivering successful projects across the UK and Europe, Ania moved on to business development with a remit to design winning solutions that are innovative, cost-effective and aligned with customer needs. She has extensive experience in tenders which included Welfare-to-Work, Justice, Skills and Health. Her role involved the concept design, partnership strategy and stakeholder engagement.

Mountain ViewGuy Puetz

Born in Luxembourg in 1967, Guy PUETZ started his professional career in 1988 working as a field engineer in electronics in a family-owned international industrial group. Already in 1991, he became head of automation. In 1994, he graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and, that same year, took over the responsibilities of the group's engineering department. In 1996 he co-founded an industrial company specialized in automation and machine building providing high-tech solutions for the packaging industry worldwide. As managing director, he led and developed this company in Luxembourg and abroad, establishing subsidiaries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

After more than 25 years of experience in international business management and development, Guy joined ADEM – Luxembourg’s National Employment Agency – in March 2014 to build up Employer Services. To further enhance his knowledge in Human Resources management, he took a part-time M.Sc. degree in Business Psychology from 2014-2017.

Today, Guy  is leading ADEM’s Employer Services, a team of over 60 people, 33 of whom are employer counselors. ADEM’s Employer Services is subdivided into 12 sectors reflecting the Luxembourg economy and handles more than 34.000 job offers by over 6000 employers per year (data from 2016). Guy’s slogan: “Facilitate employers’ growth through optimal recruitment by providing them with people who have the required skills and talents.” Training job seekers according to employers’ actual needs is hence one of his priorities. He is fluent in Luxembourgish, German, French and English.

Mountain ViewMarina Veljaca

She was born on January 18th 1985 in Vukovar, Croatia. She finished high school in Zagreb and graduated in English language and literature and in Educational studies on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb in 2009.

She began her professional career the same year she graduated in the Croatian Employment Service, in Active Labor Market Policy Deparment. From 2009 to 2015 she has been working on implementation of ALMP measures such as subsidized employment, training, on-the-job training, public works and job-preservation subsidies. In 2015, she was appointed Head of the ALMP Planning, Programming and Efficiency Analysis Division, focusing her work primariliy on those aspects of active labor market policy implementation. 

Mountain ViewIva Zelic

Currently she is in charge of developing and promoting EU policies to support the re-integration of the long-term unemployed into employment in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission.

In her previous position in the Commission, she worked as a policy officer in the framework of the European Semester covering analytical work on employment, VET, adult learning and social protection issues.

Before joining the Commission in 2012, she worked in both the private sector as well as in the NGO sector related to topics such as decent work, employment policies and social inclusion. Her main activities were linked to communication and advocacy work.

She holds a degree in Master of European Politics and Policies and MSc in Economics and Business.