Hosted by the National Employment Services Association (NESA) in partnership with the
OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Development and supported by
the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
Held biennially, this year saw the third Working Communities International Congress hosted by the National Employment Services Association (NESA). The congress aimed to draw on work undertaken since the global financial crisis and review the ways in which job creation and labour market policies and programmes have been implemented to encourage the development of productive communities and economic development in light of the lingering impact of the crisis.
The congress was an opportunity to gather a number of insights into past and current policies aimed at increasing economic participation, to look at innovative practices happening both in Australia and internationally, and to discuss the future of public policy strategies related to employment and participation. While much of this work traditionally falls within the scope of labour market programme policy, an integrated approach is needed that bridges across policy silos, and enables local solutions to be developed that are targeted at local community needs.
The OECD LEED Programme project on Local Job Creation – How Labour Market Policies Can Help was a key focus of the event, with the preliminary findings of the Australian component of the cross-country comparative review presented and discussed and with the opportunity to learn from the experiences in the United States.
An opportunity for members of both sides of Australian politics to field questions about future policy directions for employment and related services and building more productive communities was also a feature of the two day congress.
The aim of the congress was to bring policy makers, advisors, service providers and researchers actively involved in labour market programs and development together to discuss past and current policies, the degree of their success in terms of increasing participation, and possible ways forward in the future.
The plenary and panel sessions of the congress focused on both Australian and global perspectives of innovative employment and job creation initiatives, and included the world economic and employment outlook presented by OECD which set the scene for discussions across the course of the event.
Concurrent panel discussion focused on the following key themes:
Theme 1 – Policy settings for local economic development and participation
Theme 2 – The role of skill development in economic participation
Theme 3 – The importance of inclusivity and place based solutions
Congress material is available from the dedicated Working Communities website here. Copies of all papers, presentations and evaluations will be available shortly.
For further information, pelase contact Ekaterina Travkina at the OECD Secretariat.