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More Than Just Jobs

Workforce Development in a Skills-Based Economy

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"Job placement” has been the traditional goal of labour and employment policies, but this report argues otherwise. To stay competitive in a globalised economy, governments must also strive to enhance the skills of workers, increase their productivity and provide upward mobility to immigrants and the disadvantaged. This report provides valuable insights into how labour policies can be expanded to meet economic development and social cohesion goals, while also reconciling national and local concerns.   Studies from seven OECD countries are presented (Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States), each analysing attempts to expand workforce development policies and bridge the gap between national and local initiatives. Included are various types of government/private sector partnerships in the United States, regional training in France and Australia’s efforts to customise policies to local needs. Based on the country studies, the report then makes specific recommendations and suggestions on how workforce development policies can be expanded and improved.

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Germany: The Local Impact of Labour Market

The recent reform of the public employment service has greatly expanded the role of the local authorities in providing comprehensive labour market services for unemployed welfare recipients. It does not, however, create a unified local job centre as initially envisioned, but in fact splits the delivery of employment services into two organisational units based on benefit entitlement rather than on their service needs. In addition, the focus of the reform is on the governance or mode of implementation of labour market programmes and not on innovation in programmes with a regional development focus. In this context, special intermediary organisations at regional level play a useful role in enhancing the institutional capacity to assist with the practical implementation of various programmes for promoting employment. The most important tasks these organisations have are to provide the actors of labour market policy with professional consulting services and to work at the state level to co-ordinate programmes and projects co-funded through the ESF.

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