A LEED cross-country comparative project for 2013-2014
Issues / Methods / Outputs / Contact
This project assesses the contribution of labour market policy to boosting quality employment and enhancing productivity by better matching skills supply to demand, improving training provision and addressing skills gaps but also improving skills utilisation by firms. It involves a series of country reviews. Each review examines the capacity of employment services and training providers to contribute to a long-term strategy which can yield returns in terms of resilience of the local economy, skills levels and job quality.
Issues to be addressed
In the recovery, local communities can boost economic growth and sustainability by investing in a skilled workforce which is less expendable, more adaptable to change and better able to contribute to productivity growth and the creation of new jobs (see Figure 1 below):
In order to contribute to this agenda, employment and training organisations need to align their services effectively with local conditions and with broader local economic development strategies. This project will assess how this can best be achieved, while preserving accountability and ensuring the achievement of national policy objectives.
A number of key themes are addressed through each country review, with countries asked to recommend areas of particular interest to them.
- Better aligning policies: At a time of budget deficits, policy silos and fragmented short-term policy interventions become luxuries that our economies can no longer afford. Producing better policy alignment between actors responsible for employment, economic development and skills at the local level, as well as working in partnership with private and other non-state stakeholders, will be important for both achieving better job outcomes, and also maintaining or reducing current levels of public expenditure.
- Adding value through skills: It is important that tomorrow’s workforce is equipped with high-level generic skills, so that individuals can transfer between sectors, and innovate in response to changing markets. This requires strong investment in flexible systems of ‘life-long learning’ so that people can build their skills throughout their lives. However in many localities both the public and private sectors are operating at a low level of productivity, offering poor quality jobs to local people while the local economy risks becoming uncompetitive. Employment agencies can also play an important role in helping firms to better utilise their workforce, and to provide career progression for lower-skilled workers.
- Targeting policies to new growth areas: Those communities and economies that are bouncing back the quickest after the downturn are those that specialise in certain economic sectors but are flexible enough to take advantage of new and emerging market opportunities as they develop. Anticipating future areas of growth should therefore be a key focus for local employment and skill strategies, based both on an analysis of local growth sectors, and an understanding of broader global trends.
- Being inclusive: Certain groups are affected more than others by the economic downturn, and many have been facing long-term obstacles that preceded the crisis. Local strategies are needed to get the young into stable jobs, and support their progression. Family friendly policies can support the economic participation of women. Local communities need to be adaptive to the particular needs of immigrants to support labour market inclusion. At the same time, area-based strategies are often particularly effective in supporting the inclusion of people who have experienced multi-generational disadvantage. This is a field in which employment and training organisations can benefit from working closely with a broad group of other stakeholders, including local employers.
In each country, the review has four main stages:
Analyse available data to understand the key labour market challenges facing the country in the post-crisis context and to apply an OECD LEED diagnostic tool which seeks to assess the balance between the supply and demand for skills and labour at local level.
Carry out a stock-take and mapping of the current policy framework for local job creation in the country.
Apply a dashboard technique to measure the capacity of the local level to contribute to local sustainable job creation along the four above key themes.
Contribute to policy development in the reviewed country by proposing policy options to overcome barriers and realise potentials. The policy options are presented in the form of a concrete Action Plan, illustrated by selected good practice initiatives from elsewhere.
Read the full project methodology
A concrete guidance for policy and practice at both national and local level.
A national country report and Action Plan will set out the results of each review.
The project is based on Voluntary Contributions of each participant country and continues a series starting in 2011-12.
For further information about the project please contact the OECD Secretariat.
NOTE: The cross-country comparative projects review and benchmark country policies on LEED themes; identify gaps, strengths and good practices; and make recommendations in the form of an action plan. In 2013-14 these reviews analyse the contribution of labour market policy and training to quality job creation locally; how to boost entrepreneurship and enterprise creation in both the private sector and the social economy; and ways to deliver smarter local economic development.
Review: Local job creation in the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy) - 2012
Report: Local Job Creation - How Employment and Training Agencies Can Help - United States
Publication: Employment and Skills Strategies in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom