Active labour market policies enable all citizens to participate in society by having access to rewarding and sustainable employment. Fostering inclusiveness is particularly important for underrepresented and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the long-term unemployed, NEETs (young people neither in education, training nor employment), etc.
Promoting inclusiveness and fostering active labour market policies is part of the European Employment Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. Its implementation is mostly achieved through the European Semester process, the EU’s annual cycle of economic and social policy coordination. Part of this process are the Social Scoreboard, tracking trends and performances across EU countries, and country-specific recommendations which provide policy guidance for each Member State outlining the nature and extent of challenges at national level.
Equal opportunities and access to the labour market is also a key area within the European Pillar of Social Rights. Proclaimed in 2017, it sets out 20 principles and rights to guide European and national policies in building fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. It aims to guarantee rights to education, training and life-long learning as well as to promote equal treatment and active support in employment.
Both public and private employment services share the same final objective: to bring as many people as possible into the labour market. Cooperation between public and private services can therefore enhance the inclusiveness of labour markets, increase the rate of transition from unemployment to work and maximise the effectiveness of the services provided to job-seekers.
Members of the World Employment Confederation-Europe have established different forms of partnerships with Public Employment Services (exchange of information, pooling of data on the labour market, sourcing candidates, sharing candidates and job vacancies, managing skills, assessing and creating skills through training, providing outplacement services, etc.).
Cooperation also takes place at EU level, where the World Employment Confederation-Europe collaborates with the EU PES Network, a network established to foster cooperation and mutual learning between Europe’s Public Employment Services.
In its Europe 2024 Vision Paper, the World Employment Confederation-Europe calls on EU policies to promote a diversity of labour contractual arrangements as a way to increase labour market participation and inclusion and to strengthen the collaboration between labour market intermediaries to maximise their potential by implementing these policy actions.
Efficient cooperation between public and private employment services is reiterated as a way to strengthen the activation role of the private employment services industry in the World Employment Confederation-Europe’s response to a public consultation launched by the European Commission in 2020 to obtain the views of social partners and stakeholders on the foreseen action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.