Armagh City based social enterprise, CAIRDE Teo, is probably best known locally for its work in promoting and developing the Irish language; but the organisation is also renowned internationally for its research and activist work – particularly in the arenas of economic rights, labour sociology and the solidarity economy.
In 2013, the local organisation was privileged to be asked to become an associate partner on an international training network that is preparing the next generation of policy-focused social scientists for the challenges of a rapidly changing global economy. Coordinated by the University of Strathclyde‘s Department of Human Resource Management, the ‘Changing Employment Training Network’ is funded by the European Commission‘s Seventh Research Framework Programme “Marie Curie Actions”.
The €4.6 million project is examining the changing nature of employment in Europe in the context of challenges, threats and opportunities for employees and employers. The project team comprises a team of eminent senior researchers and academics from nine European universities who are training fifteen early career researchers (12 Doctoral and 3 Post-Doctoral). The team is also exploring the impact on work relations and working lives, while examining the implications for gender, ethnicity and different age groups at work.
CAIRDE Teo representatives attended the Network launch at the University of Gothenburg last year before delivering a seminar on Third Sector Funding Proposals at the first Annual Colloquium and Network School in Paris in November. CAIRDE were also represented at the Network’s recent seminar in Leuven, Belgium and they have agreed to participate in the forthcoming second Annual Colloquium at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.
Prior to travelling to Poland, CAIRDE will organise a research project that will be attended by over 30 participants from seven different European regions. The specific objective of this project, which is funded by the NI Community Relations Council and the Marie Curie Changing Employment Network, is to explore new developments emerging from the economic crisis, particularly with regard to inclusion/exclusion, the consequences of unemployment and precarious work and increasing inequalities in Northern Ireland. Methodologies will include an exploration of the changing nature of migrant work and employment; analysis of media discourse about migrants; case studies and biographical narrative interviews with migrant employees, trade unionists and community development workers in Belfast, Armagh and Magherafelt. As part of the project a residential research weekend will be organised by CAIRDE Teo from 27th – 29th June in Queens University Belfast and in the Ramada Plaza Hotel.
Professor Paul Stewart, Programme Coordinator at the University of Strathclyde and Director of CAIRDE Teo, said:
“My colleague Gearóid Ó Machail will coordinate a programme of events in Armagh, Belfast and Derry that will provide valuable insights into the lived experiences of people who have travelled from mainland Europe to live and work in the north of Ireland since 2004. In light of some recent media headlines and pronouncements by civic and political leaders, our research will measure the extent to which ‘new citizens’ in N.Ireland have been able to integrate into civic society and to participate fully in the democratic, political and social structures that have emerged in recent years”.
CAIRDE Teo would like to thank Professor John Barry who will host the weekend seminar at Queens University and also Trademark Belfast and Ex-Pac North who will facilitate a series of workshops at the event. The Armagh-based organisation would also like to acknowledge the generous financial assistance of the Community Relations Council and the Marie Curie Changing Employment Network.