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Flexible Policy for More and Better Jobs

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In today’s economic context, governments are required to take centre stage, helping workers to compete in the global market whilst also supporting employers so that they may retain jobs, increase productivity and offer better-quality employment at the local level. This book provides a new indicator for benchmarking labour-market policy, reviewing the flexibility available in its management throughout OECD countries. The research offers new evidence of the link between flexibility and employment outcomes. Concrete examples of how localities can harness greater flexibility to generate better economic and social outcomes are provided. The new style of management recommended in this book will be key to any national strategy for returning economies to prosperity.

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What Can Governments Do to Meet Skills and Employability Challenges at the Local Level?

The skills and employability of the local labour force are crucial to the ability of economies to respond to labour market shocks and adapt to global change. The quicker that the unemployed can be re-trained for new jobs, the more adaptable a local economy will be. However, a constraint on improving adaptability is the ability of the state to adequately and quickly reform the delivery of training, welfare systems and employability programmes to meet new challenges. A greater emphasis needs to be placed on the personalisation and localisation of service design, planning, and delivery. Personalisation is needed to combine different forms of support required by people with multiple barriers, and localisation is needed to empower local partners to design interventions and direct resources to meet local employer needs and target the most deprived areas and people. Decentralisation appears to be a necessary condition for joining up services at the point of delivery and for disadvantaged areas to devise solutions to tackle their specific problems.

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