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Social Innovation

To address the challenges that the structural shifts currently reshaping the world of work are creating, labour markets need to evolve to ensure that they remain open, inclusive and sustainable.

As labour markets enablers, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and its members believe that they have a leadership role to play in building such future proof labour markets.

The private employment industry believes in “social innovation” as the way forward. Social innovation is defined as the implementation of new solutions for working, learning and social protection for the benefit of workers, employers and society in general. The World Employment Confederation’s Members have developed a map detailing the goals and conditions of social innovation, suggesting some examples of potential actions, identifying which stakeholders our industry should work with as well as outlining the benefits and risks for our sector.

Furthermore, the World Employment Confederation adopted a Manifesto entitled “No Future of Work without Social Innovation”, developing five sets of recommendations and clear calls for action:

Access for all

Fair job for all

Towards a new Social Deal

Skills for jobs

Responsible intermediation

Making Europe the Best Place to Work

Based on this Manifesto, the World Employment Confederation-Europe developed its own vision “Making Europe the best place to work!”. The 2019 European elections and a new European Commission taking office present a unique opportunity for European decision-makers to embrace social innovation and enable sustainable and inclusive labour markets.

The World Employment Confederation-Europe recommends the following policy actions to be implemented:

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Our policy recommendations

Strengthen the Single Market to unlock the growth and jobs potential of business services

Empower EU citizens to build their career path in a changing world of work

Rethink protection schemes to ensure the sustainability of national social models

Strengthen the collaboration between labour market intermediaries to maximise their potential

Encourage diverse forms of work to bring more people into the labour market

Joint recommendations by EU Sectoral Social Partners for agency work to foster social innovation

The World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa, the EU Social Partners for the temporary agency work sector, put forward joint recommendations to foster social innovation – especially in the areas of training, working conditions and social protection.

The recommendations are informed by the findings of a research project commissioned as part of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue for temporary agency work. In a two-year project the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Catholic University of Leuven/HIVA have studied 15 cases of social innovation practices implemented in the temporary agency work sector in the areas of training, working conditions and social protection. The research team drew lessons learned, success factors and drivers for scalability and replicability of such practices.

Examples of social innovation initiatives developed by members of the World Employment Confederation are available on the dedicated ‘Social Innovation Stories’ website. Filter per country, region, topic, WEC member or UN Sustainable Development Goal and see how the sector is making a difference in the new world of work.

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