“Rebrain Greece”, is an interdisciplinary and interministerial initiative concerning the digital transformation in the Greek labour market and the reverse of the brain drain phenomenon. The initiative, launched by the General Directorate of Labour Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in April 2019, is supported by a network of universities, research institutes, municipalities, scientific institutes of social partners and other organizations. Aiming to formulate smart public policies “Rebrain Greece” analyzes labour market data through data analytics, business tools and data visualization applications. A series of projects concerning young unemployed women, agrodigital entrepreneurship etc. including the pilot project “Choose…Greece!” for the return of Greeks with high scientific qualifications, are in progress.

The team of “Rebrain Greece” works in a horizontal and equal base of cooperation allowing free access to those who wish to contribute with ideas, proposals, funding tools etc in the direction of the initiative’s strategic aims. Officials from five ministries, six Greek universities, organizations such as the National Institute of Labour and Human Resources, the National Documentation Center/Knowledge Bridges, the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation and many more, are working closely with each other in order to formulate effective public policies based on measurable digital tools and methods. Through the Labour Market Diagnosis Mechanism, a measuring tool developed by the Greek authorities recognized by the OECD and the World Bank as best practice, “Rebrain Greece” aims to improve employment policies and reduce skills mismatches.

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The team has already prepared the following projects that are ready to be funded incorporating the use of new technologies in the labour market:

Αdvanced Skills 4 Women: The action is addressed to young unemployed women who will be trained in data analysis as well as in open source data applications so they can be able to work in companies and research entities creating create added value for businesses.

Agrodigital Entrepreneurship: This action is addressed to young people related to the primary sector (agri-food) who wish to gain business knowledge through digital tools and methods. The beneficiaries will be trained in the use of Artificial Intelligence in farming as well as in the development of digital business methods and tools in digital marketing, content & brand management, digital brand standardization, trademarking processes etc.

Dig_Circular: This proposal also addresses the international issue of circular economics, helping unemployed technical professions and disciplines related to circular economics become involved, through their training and work on digital methods of approaching and modernizing the way they work.

Upgrading Skills of Heavy Machinery Operators: The initiative also introduced actions for current staff of more technical occupations and skills, such as upgrading heavy machinery operators’ knowledge and skills.

The project “Choose Greece”, concerning the repatriation of highly skilled Greeks working abroad, is the most emblematic initiative of Rebrain Greece. The project includes a wage subsidy scheme offered to Greek companies for hiring in total 500 young Greeks of high qualifications and scientific experience with a salary of 3,000 euros for a minimum duration of two years. “Choose Greece” intends neither to solve the problem of the immigration of Greeks nor to reduce unemployment; it is rather a pilot project contributing to the connection of the country with the Greek diaspora for the benefit of the Greek society and the Greek economy trying to cover the country’s needs with skilled professionals, especially in the technology sector.

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A digital platform named “REBRAIN GREECE CoLab” is also under construction operating as a Register for companies and employees from the Diaspora wishing to participate to the “Choose Greece” project. The platform will collect enterprises’ demands and needs on specific experts while employees will submit their CV’s in an effort to identify and cover Greek labour market needs. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are gradually changing the labour market framework while a series of production sectors such as Cyclical Economics, Health, Rural production etc. are horizontally affected by the introduction of these technologies. “Rebrain Greece” is a first attempt to begin the discussion regarding the labor market digital transformation and the needed action.

Read also via Greek News Agenda: New national initiative: “Knowledge and Partnership Bridges”