Alison is Director of Aurora European Services, which helps organisations to achieve local impact from EU projects and programmes. Alison was Lead Expert to ESIMeC, an URBACT II round 2 project with a focus on demand led workforce development and is currently Thematic Expert to URBACT Markets, a round 3 project which explores the role of markets in sustainable urban development. During 2012 she coordinated the URBACT More Jobs Better Cities capitalisation workstream and she is currently one of the national URBACT trainers for the UK and Republic of Ireland. She led the Entrepreneurship capitalisation expert group for INTERREG IVC in 2012/13 and is currently part of the drafting team for the UK/BE/NL/FR INTERREG IVA Two Seas Programme. Alison's main thematic interests and experience are in economic development, employment, entrepreneurship, skills and integrated approaches to these policy areas in medium sized towns and cities. After graduating with a European Studies degree, Alison did a Scholarship in the European Parliament and then an expert contract with the European Commission’s Statistics Office (Eurostat). She then returned to the UK and successfully established and managed three European Units, two in local authorities and one in a university, before setting up Aurora in 2002. Alison is a Business Mentor for the Princes Trust in the UK which supports vulnerable young people into self employment.
I'm really looking forward to meeting all you city practitioners in Dublin in August. It is a fabulous city in which to hold this event with its own share of challenges along with some innovative solutions. One of the things I love about the city is its people and people are at the core of this human capital lab.
Hopefully you'll agree that we need more economically successful cities and more, and better, jobs for our citizens. My belief is that people with the skills which match current and future employer needs are a key part of the solution.
I invite you to participate in the Human Capital lab which will create award winning action plans in response to the Deputy Mayor of Allium's passionate call for action. It would be great to bring together people who work on economic development, employment and skills - as an integrated approach is a prerequisite of success. It's going to be an intense few days I'm sure but we are going to have lots of fun along the way.