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The OECD’s 50th Anniversary is an opportunity to reaffirm what we stand for and what we are about. After 50 years, our objective is and remains to help member and partner country’s governments to formulate and implement better policies for better lives.
The G20 helped steer the world through the worst of the economic storm; now it must show it can set in motion a new governance for the post-crisis world. That's a task our organisation stands ready to help with, says the OECD's G20 Sherpa, Gabriela Ramos.
Promoting a smooth transition from school to work, and ensuring that youth are given the opportunities to move on in their careers and lives, have long been issues of fundamental importance for our economies and societies. Today, they are even more pressing challenges as the global economy emerges from the worst crisis of the past 50 years. Indeed, young people have borne much of the brunt of the recent jobs crisis. The youth unemployment rate is approaching 20% in the OECD area, with nearly 4 million more youth among the unemployed than at the end of 2007.
The initial experience in the labour market has a profound influence on later working life. Getting off to a good start facilitates youth integration into the world of work and lays the foundation for a good career, while it can be difficult to catch up after an initial failure. In particular, the jobs crisis is likely to leave long-lasting “scarring” effects on some of the current generation of school-leavers, particularly if they face multiple disadvantages, such as having low skills and also coming from a disadvantaged background.
Tackling the youth jobs crisis requires a strong commitment from all: the youth themselves, the government through well-targeted and effective policy measures, social partners though their participation in the dialogue, and other key actors – such as teachers, practitioners and parents – who can really make a difference to investing in youth.
This report makes an important contribution to a new agenda of youth-friendly employment policies and practices. It analyses the situation of youth employment and unemployment in the context of the jobs crisis and identifies successful policy measures in OECD countries. But it also discusses structural reforms in education and in the labour market that can facilitate the transition from school to work. The report draws on both recent data and the main lessons that emerged from the 16 country reviews conducted as part of the OECD Jobs for Youth/Des emplois pour les jeunes programme.
The global economy is recovering but youth unemployment is getting worse. Young people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as the average worker, yet few governments are taking proactive steps to boost youth employment.
Unemployment soared in the crisis, and creating jobs is now a major policy priority. But jobs alone will not be enough. A greater emphasis on skills will be needed for the recovery to last.
The OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate has launched in September 2008 a series of seminars open to both external and internal speakers. It is intended to be an informal forum for discussion of policy-oriented empirical research work among policy-makers, academics and OECD staff.
Mental illness is a growing problem in society and is increasingly affecting productivity and well-being in the workplace. This project challenges some of the myths around mental health.
Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity manage to remain in employment. This is a social and economic tragedy common to virtually all OECD countries. It also raises an apparent paradox that needs explaining: Why is it that the average health status is improving, yet large numbers of people of working age are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits?
This report, the last in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers, synthesises the project’s findings and explores the possible factors behind the paradox described above. It highlights the roles of institutions and policies and concludes that higher expectations and better incentives for the main actors – workers, employers, doctors, public agencies and service providers – are crucial. Based on a review of good and bad practices across OECD countries, this report suggests a series of major reforms are needed to promote employment of people with health problems.
The report examines a number of critical policy choices between: tightening inflows and raising outflows from disability benefit, and promoting job retention and new hiring of people with health problems. It questions the need for distinguishing unemployment and disability as two distinct contingencies, emphasises the need for a better evidence base, and underlines the challenges for policy implementation.
Angel Gurría recalled the role played by the OECD Bologna Process and Charter and the "need to harness the potential of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the fight against unemployment, social exclusion and poverty" in his remarks to the “Bologna+10” High-level Meeting.