New approach to activating the unemployed: European and international experiences

New approach to activating the unemployed: Europe...

This report presents examples of solutions from countries around the world that lead to the effective activation of the unemployed.

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New approach to activating unemployed

The problem of unemployment

The difficult economic situation in many countries worldwide, in Europe in particular, has severely dampened growth rates in the economy which, in turn, has translated into rising unemployment. This global problem has become a major challenge for governments and international organizations alike. According to the International Labour Organization, almost 202 million people were unemployed in 2013 around the world1. Out of this figure, 40 million are long-term unemployed (staying out of work for over 12 months).

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In view of the alarming situation on the labor market, it becomes crucial to seek new and effective ways to activate the unemployed and, consequently, to curb the high unemployment.

Key findings

Featuring examples of solutions from countries including Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia and France, our research finds that successful measures to activate and engage the unemployment share the following characteristics:

  • They address the needs and specific situations of the unemployed through first profiling the unemployed and consequently, customizing the forms of activation, tools and instruments to the needs of the specific profiles.
  • They open up the employment services market to non-public actors (welfare-to-work), to help provide services to those who are furthest from the labor market and, as such, most difficult to activate.
  • They remunerate employment agencies based on successful outcomes (payment by results), defined as unemployed citizens taking up and maintaining a job.
  • They are equipped with efficient tools to motivate the unemployed and to apply sanctions in case the unemployed person shirks active participation in the process.

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