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Seizing the opportunities of the digital economy to create better jobs, foster gender equality and build community wealth

Quality Education; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Reducing Inequality; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth

Since 2014 the economy of Barcelona is growing at a remarkable pace, but it is increasingly leaned towards labour-intensive sectors, such as tourism, that rely too much on poor working conditions. Regarding salaries, there is a structural gender gap and a rapidly growing age gap. Young people, especially those with immigration background, have few opportunities to thrive economically. As for older workers, in many cases their jobs are at risk because of the fast digitalisation of the economy. On the other hand, Barcelona has a strong industrial basis, mostly relocated across its metro area, specialised service sectors, universities and research centres at the top of the Southern European rankings and a prominent place in the Internet economy.       

Our challenge
To build a more diversified and competitive economy, which takes up the challenge of digitalisation to raise educational standards and productivity, thus being able to create more wealth. A city economy which keeps a place for manufacture, while reinforcing its vocation as a provider of high quality services across the board. A city economy which is socially sensitive, committed to a fair distribution of income and wealth, and in which alternative forms of economic organisation, such as cooperatives, may thrive.

Expected impact
We expect a continuous growth of the economic activities related to research and development, as well as stronger linkages to the local productive sector. An improvement of the levels of formal and informal education should also be attained (especially regarding the STEM areas), so that young locals have the necessary skills to work in the digital economy, enjoying decent wages and job stability. To complete the picture, we expect a new labour market regulation, one that guarantees better salaries and working conditions in the labour-intensive service sectors. All this should result in a significant reduction of gender inequality as well.

Target groups
Young and working-age population (especially girls and women), businesses and public administrations.