Policy Advisory Board

The Policy Advisory Board (PAB) includes international representatives from real world spheres that deal with the topics of the CUPESSE project, namely the unemployment and underemployment of young people, entrepreneurship, and social inclusion. The PAB will accompany the implementation of the project with a view to guaranteeing the development of new policies as well as outreach to the policy makers and relevant stakeholders.

The project consortium is dedicated to constantly supplying the policy and stakeholder communities with updates about the scientific findings and to engaging in a dialogue about how the scientific results could inform policy making.

The composition of the PAB also strengthens the project’s coverage across EU Member States. The members of the PAB include:

Giorgos Bithymitris, Centre for Political Research, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences and APOPSI Group of Companies, Greece

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Giorgos Bithymitris holds a Phd in Union Movement Strategies, from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. He has published academic articles and book chapters on Greek unionism, public discourse in the context of economic crisis, employment relations, and organized interests. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Political Research, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Through his postdoctoral research he explores the transformation of collective identities in the context of economic crisis in the deindustrialised area of West Piraeus. He also works as a project manager at APOPSI Group of Companies (Vocational Education and Training, career counselling, business consultancy, ICT services). Giorgos Bithymitris participates, inter alia, in the design, implementation and monitoring of the project "Career counselling – vocational training and certification of unemployed and threatened by unemployment in the industrial zone of Piraeus" (2015) which involves 2,500 beneficiaries.

Luis Costa, European Forum on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET; National Representative of Portugal) and Associação Nacional de Escolas Profissionais (ANESPO), Portugal

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Luis costa is an expert on communitarian and public policies, and is currently developing his work on the Vocational Education and Training areas. He is the Executive Director of ANESPO - National Association of Professional Schools (Portugal), a member of the board of the Setubal Professional School Foundation and a member of the Steering Committee of EFVET - European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. He is also the representative of EFVET in the EU Thematic Working Groups on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and Early School Leaving (ESL).
Since 2007 he is the Portuguese Focal Point for the European Globalization Adjustment Found (EGF). He holds a master’s degree in Sociology with a major in Work and Organizations, completed with a specialization Top Management in Public Administration from the National Institute for Public Administration. He is also a National Defense Auditor, with training received from the National Defense Institute.

In the field of education and training, he is currently working in the areas of skills anticipation and matching, curriculum innovation, transition from school to active life and early school leaving.

Dr. Andrew Kelly, AP EnvEcon Ltd., Dublin (Ireland)

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Dr. Andrew Kelly is co-founder and CEO of EnvEcon Limited, a research and policy advisory practice focused principally on economic and environmental matters. Andrew graduated with honours in Economics and English from UCD and Coimbra in 1999. At postgraduate level he went on to complete a M.Sc. (2000) and Ph.D. (2003) in the fields of economics and environmental policy, before completing two post-doctoral positions. The first focused upon project management and project building, whilst the second specialised in the area of environmental policy and integrated modelling. Andrew has particular interest in the area of policy development, with a skillset spanning the requisite components of analysis, communication, negotiation and regulation. Andrew has specialist expertise in thematic areas such as climate, air, transport and economics, as well as specialised skills in the areas of management, communication, integrated modelling, data management and the growing role of ICT in research and policy development.

As a member of the advisory board Andrew will contribute academic experience relating to labour economics and markets, professional experience with regards to the design, communication and implementation of effective policy, and also practical experience from his role as an entrepreneur. The latter offering operational knowledge with regards to internships, employment contracts, progression paths and the myriad constraints faced by small business start-ups.


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Peter Simon, Member of the European Parliament, Mannheim (Germany)

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Peter Simon has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009. He is originally from Mannheim and has a law degree from the University of Heidelberg. In 2014 he was elected vice-chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. He was also the elected substitute in the Committee on Regional Development and is a member of the European Parliaments Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. Between 1995 and 2009 he gained a great deal of experience at the local level: First working as a lawyer in the legal department at the city of Mannheim, then as the personal assistant to the mayor of Mannheim, Dr Norbert Egger, between 1996 and 1999. From 1999 to 2007 Mr Simon was the head of the European Office of the city of Mannheim. He then headed the office of Economic Development for Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH until 2009. Prior to his election to the European Parliament, Mr Simon lectured on European Law at the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim. He was also active in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (European Department) as the representative of the Association of German Cities during the development of the EU Constitutional Treaty draft.

Dr. Francesca Sperotti, Association for International and Comparative Studies in the field of Labour law and Industrial Relations (Adapt), Italy

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Francesca Sperotti holds a PhD in Human Capital Formation and Labour Relations (University of Bergamo, March 2014), a Master of Arts in European Interdisciplinary Studies (College of Europe, June 2010) and a Master Degree in International Relations (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, November 2008). Since September 2010 she is an ADAPT Research Fellow (www.adapt.it). Since May 2012 she is the Head of ADAPT International Relations. On a yearly basis, she participates in national and international research projects. Research fields of interest include: demography and labour market, work and climate change and future of work.

Ulrich Wiegand, Chamber of Skilled Crafts, Berlin (Germany)

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Ulrich Wiegand has been the director of the Chamber of Skilled Crafts in Berlin and head of the department of education since 2003. Prior to taking this position he was the head of education policy and planning at the Deutsche Bahn AG in Berlin and Frankfurt. He is active at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt as an assistant lecturer in the areas of education law, education policy, and comparative studies of education and training. He is also a member of the planning group “Europe” in the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH).