Special half day Academic Conference marks Department’s 70th Anniversary

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To mark its 70th Anniversary, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection hosted a half day Open Policy Conference today, Thursday, 9th November on 'The Digital Economy, New Forms of Work and Challenges for Social Security Systems; Financing and Coverage'.

The Conference, which was hosted with Maynooth University, examined the disruptive potential of emerging forms of employment and the digital economy and the potential effects on social security coverage and financing.

Key note speakers included Mr. Hans Horst Konkolewsky, General Secretary of the International Security Association, Ms. Irene Mandl, Head of the research unit 'Employment' at Eurofound and Mr. Sean Ó Riain, Professor of Sociology at Maynooth University.

The Conference opened with an address by Irene Mandl' on examining emerging new employment forms and the potential effects on working and employment conditions.
Mr Hans Horst Konkolwesky spoke on how to harness the potential of the digital economy for societal welfare, focusing on the changing environment in which social security institutions evolve and how they might respond to these impacts and challenges.

Professor Sean Ó Riain gave his views on the challenges facing the Irish Social Security system.

There were also contributions from:

  • Mr. Colin Donnery, FRS/Turas Nua on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in recruitment;
  • Dr Ray Griffen, WIT on use of algorithms in allocation of Public Employment Services;
  • Ms. Brid O'Brien, INOU on gender and equality in the Digital Economy;
  • Mr. Adam Harris, ASIAM Ireland on digital economy from the perspective of disability; and
  • Mr. Mick Creedon, Ballymun Local Employment Service on the digital economy, prospects for a low income community.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D. also addressed the Conference:  "I believe that it is more important than ever that we work with our international partners and contribute to the international discourse in this increasingly-globalised world. This conference will, I believe, contribute to this important debate both in Ireland and internationally. Today's event, which marks the 70th anniversary of our Department, provides an important opportunity to reflect on the various trends and consider how best the Department can meet its many challenges, now and into the future.

As the Department celebrates its 70th Anniversary, I am proud to be Minister Number 25; leading a team of almost 7,000 dedicated staff. Together, we distribute around €20 billion in welfare payments per year, helping hundreds of thousands of people at times when they need help the most."

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Contact Details
E: press.office@welfare.ie
T: 01 704 3082
Twitter: @welfare_ie

Last modified:09/11/2017