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Inclusiveness and Active Labour Market Policies

Whether due to the economic dynamics or their personal situation, not everybody who wants to work can find a job. To promote employment and labour market participation for all, governments set up Active Labour Market Policies (ALMP). These policies seek to boost employment of the unemployed and (future) displaced people, as well as of people from specific underrepresented labour market target groups – such as long-term unemployed, young people, the elderly, people with disabilities, people with specific ethnic and/or migrant background and women.

Active Labour Market Policies to promote inclusiveness and employment exist in many diverse forms. These policies often entail concerted and tailored actions by Public Employment Services – including social security, skilling, regulatory and fiscal measures to push and pull people towards the labour market. The success of these policies depends on the extent to which they are aligned with labour market needs. For that reason, public and private employment services often work together to improve the outcome of  active labour market policies.

International policy-makers support national authorities, social partners and Public Employment Services in measuring their effectiveness and in sharing best practice.

Cooperation between public and private employment services is promoted through various international instruments. The ILO, the OECD and the World Bank encourage collaboration to be developed in various ways such as:

  • pooling of information and use of common terminology so as to improve transparency of labour market functioning;
  • exchanging vacancy notices;
  • launching of joint projects, for example in training;
  • concluding agreements between the public employment service and private employment agencies on the execution of certain activities, such as projects for the integration of the long-term unemployed;
  • training of staff;
  • consulting regularly with a view to improving professional practices.

Also, public employment services in many countries outsource some of their tasks (such as training or profiling jobseekers) to specialised private providers. Some countries have regulation in place requiring the contracting of private career management or outplacement firms in the case of collective dismissal.

Effective national labour market activation strategies are crucial, especially at a time when labour market change and displacement are growing. Private employment services contribute to their effectiveness as they pool their labour market networks, expertise and resources with the public effort to bring as many people as possible into the labour market.

Public and private employment services share a purpose: getting people into work. Yet, their roles in achieving this are very different and hence their collaboration and partnership can deliver great synergies.

The World Employment Confederation works intensively with members, public employment services and international policy-makers to promote partnership and share best practices around the world.

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