The Work Pact – Conclusions after 2 years of debates throughout the country

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Romania needs a solid restart, coherent and visionary structural reforms, say the representatives of the business environment present at the debates organized during the two years in the big university centers in the country, such as Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Timisoara, Brasov , Constanța.

Increasing the quality of life, employers cohesion, social and political consensus for an efficient labor market, correlating the education system with the needs of the labor market, predictable and favorable legislation for new investments to create new jobs, high-performance education adapted to real needs of the economy, the need for infrastructure and debureaucratization through digitalization, investments in all priority areas (infrastructure, education, health), reintroduction of protected units – these are the main priorities of the reconstruction of the Romanian economy, solutions offered and discussed during the debates by almost two hundred entrepreneurs, managers of large national and multinational companies, academia, trade unions, civil society, specialists in labor law and taxation, education, economy, etc.

Protecting human resources should be the main priority of any government, says Cristina Chiriac, president of CONAF. “Through the privatization process of large state-owned companies, over a million jobs have been lost over time. To these we add the social effects of the last period, over one million jobs in danger and a decline in the school population since the ’90s by over 1,500,000 students and schoolchildren, according to INS data – these data outlines a picture that highlights the social and economic vulnerabilities of Romania: labor migration, declining birth rate and poor correlation of the education system with the needs of the Romanian economy!

Thus, it is imperative that urgent measures be taken to reduce the gaps: between generations, regions of the country, rural and urban areas and, last but not least, between academia and the professional community. We need to work together with all decision-makers on a medium-term strategy that includes the measures identified by the business community through the Work Pact conferences, so that together we can contribute to a viable economic environment for a high standard of living, less unemployment, well-paid jobs and, of course, a new fiscal policy adaptable to current economic realities.”

Peter Rudolf Zeilinger, the FPPG representative, proposes a series of specific measures: “We must be aware that we are going through an economic crisis, caused by the health crisis. The state of emergency has shown us how important digitization is. All the more we need digitalization to increase the competitiveness of the Romanian economy. As a representative of the oil and gas industry, I can say that offshore operations must be digitized, but more importantly, we must digitize onshore operations! We refer to technologies such as “Cloud”, “Big Data” and “Cloud Computing” etc. By limiting access to digitalization for oil companies and authorities, they are at a disadvantage in competing for capital over other industries in the region or the global market. The need to use advanced information technology tools is even more pressing in the case of Romania, which has mature deposits in operation, with a significant natural decline in production. Also, most industry-specific solution providers offer solutions only in the Cloud, the current solutions, installed locally, will come out of maintenance and service offering. And all this can be achieved only by updating the legislative framework to technological progress”.

Ludovic Orban, the Prime Minister of Romania, presented during the conference some of the measures that the Government is preparing: “Although the legislation provides for consultations, there were no real consultations and debates between the business environment and the academia or the administration. For example, consultations between the business community and local authorities are needed to establish the tuition figure, but these have been only formal. We support any form of dialogue and partnership between the private sector and educational institutions, for example, with regard to the dual system. Let’s not forget the old adagio “A handful of trade is a handful of gold”! That is why I think that every person should earn a decent income. We also support lifelong learning mechanisms: training, re-training, etc. In the EU community budget 2021-2027 there are important funds and tools for companies, precisely to ensure this system of lifelong learning and adaptation to the new needs of the labor market. Le
t’s not forget that the world has a dynamic evolution, trades disappear, new ones appear. We need to adapt the education system to the new requirements; we need to connect the education system to the demands of the labor market.”

Mihai Matei, president of ANIS, member of the CONCORDIA Board of Directors, specified during the discussions that this century is the century of technology and that those who invest in it will benefit. “I think there are two major investment areas: one is digitalization and the second is education. We have a huge IT&C workforce crisis. Apart from that, at the moment, about 20% of high school students in the country don’t go to high school because they are too poor. We have to take these children and put them in school. Without measures like that we can’t talk about education.”

Dragoș Pîslaru, member of the European Parliament, referred to some of the problems facing the Romanian economy. “From July 1, the New European Skills Agenda came into force. There are three major problems we face: qualitative (related to skills), quantitative (related to birth rate, but also emigration) and territorial (labor market is not homogeneous; in one area there is a labor shortage, and in another – surplus). These three problems must be solved, through the involvement of all actors.”

Florin Jianu – President of CNIPMMR, stated: “In the’ 70s, the great mathematician Grigore Moisil founded high schools focused on computer science. Today, 40-50 years later, we reap the fruits! I think it would be useful to set up entrepreneurial high schools. It does not mean that, after high school, all graduates will immediately become entrepreneurs. But, during school, one has the chance to learn to make decisions, to work on projects, etc. In addition, referring to a better relationship between the Romanian school and the labor market, I want us to maintain and develop what we gained during the state of emergency. If you ask the Romanians, in the first places in terms of investments, they obviously want infrastructure, and, in the second place, digitalization. And digitalization means Pact for Education, Pact for Work. That’s why I don’t want us to go back to what it was! For example, I don’t want us to go back to the queues at ANAF or some new institutions to appear, which will come with even more regulations for the entrepreneurial environment! We want the flexibility of the Labor Code and a deeper and more concrete dialogue between trade unions, employers and authorities”.

The debates in Constanța were also attended by Călin Ile – President of FIHR, member of the CONCORDIA board, Radu Burnete – Executive Director of CONCORDIA, Magda Volonciu – Founder, Coordinating Partner of Magda Volonciu & Associations, Sorin Rugină – Rector of “Ovidius” University of Constanța, Petru Rușeț – CEO of Siemens Energy, Andrei Dospinescu – Economist, World Bank, Ovidiu Cupșa – General Manager CERONAV, Roxana Popescu – Managing Partner KeysFin, Mihaela Proicea – CONAF Constanța branch president, Daniel Apostol – Director for External Relations FPPG.

At the end of the event, Cristina Chiriac, founding president of CONAF and Daniel Apostol, Director of External Relations of the Federation of Employers of Oil and Gas (FPPG) presented the conclusions and solutions proposed during the discussions. These will materialize in a document – Memorandum of Understanding – agreed upon by the conference participants. The document will be presented to the Romanian Government and will include the main solutions identified for a flexible, efficient and competitive labor market, with beneficial effects on the entire economy, as well as on the living standards of Romanians.

Conference WORK PACT. TOGETHER WE RECONSTRUCT ROMANIA, organized in Constanța by the National Confederation for Women Entrepreneurship (CONAF), the Oil and Gas Employers’ Federation (FPPG) and the CONCORDIA Employers’ Confederation as a strategic partner, was broadcast live on 16 online platforms (Websites / YouTube / Facebook ): CONAF, FPPG, Gaz de România, CONCORDIA Employers’ Confederation, EM360, Profit.ro, Ziarul Bursa, BiziLive.ro, NewsNational, Ingenius Live, Media Radar, Iubim Brașovul, Antena 3 Constanța, KeysFin, “Ovidius” University, City Press Tv.

The main partners of the WORK PACT debates were: EM360 and KeysFin, and partners of the event: “Ovidius” University of Constanța, Association for Entrepreneurial Education, Silver Mountain, Ab Traduceri.

Main sponsors: OMV Petrom, Romgaz and Nuclearelectrica, and sponsors of the event are Siemens Energy, D.O. Security, Olympus Foods Romania, Angelo, Baque Cafe, Euro Insol, Beach Rooms Hotel Mamaia.

Media partners: Adevărul, AGERPRES, Ziarul Bursa, News National, Canal 33, Radio România Constanța FM, Capital, EVZ.RO, Profit.ro, Focus Energetic, Revista CARIERE, Energy Industry Review, Energynomics, Insight TAROM, MONEY.ro, The Diplomat-Bucharest, Transilvania Business Magazine, BiziLive TV, Ingenius Live, ANAA, ADAA, Ziare.com, Business24, Ultima oră, Antena 3 Constanța, Litoral Tv, Gazeta de Năvodari, Radio C FM, Bună ziua Bistrița, Radio Brașov, Radio Mix 93,1, Mixtv Brașov, La pas prin Brașov, Iubim Brașovul, Brașov.net, NewsBV, Transilvania 365, Mujer.ro, Fashion8.ro, Wall-Street.ro, Radar de Media.

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