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:
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. For an overview of how public and private employment services collaborate across the world, check out our overview based on a survey of WEC national federations members.
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.
In 2023, the ILO’s Report “Public employment services and active labour market policies for transitions” examines how public employment services helped to mitigate the labour market shock caused by the COVID-19 crisis and, more generally, how they have been adapting and innovating in response to the transformations that have been taking place in the world of work over the past two decades. It also dives into public-private partnerships and how their potential can be further unlocked. The report notably relies on data collected by the World Employment Confederation amongst its members during its annual regulatory survey.
Find out more by watching the virtual launch event of the report in which WEC participated.