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Modernising public employment services

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Modernising public employment services

As the first port of call for many job seekers, public employment services (PESs) play a key role in delivering labour market policies. Working more closely together across the European Union, PESs should help to meet the Europe 2020 strategy's target of 75 % employment.

ACT

Communication from the Commission: Modernising public employment services to support the European employment strategy (COM(98) 641 final of 13.11.1998).

SUMMARY

As the first port of call for many job seekers, public employment services (PESs) play a key role in delivering labour market policies. Working more closely together across the European Union, PESs should help to meet the Europe 2020 strategy's target of 75 % employment.

WHAT DOES THIS COMMUNICATION DO?

It looks at the part PESs play in EU employment strategy and the rapidly changing environment in which they operate. It identifies a need for their role, working methods, goals and objectives to evolve. It also prepared the ground for a decision adopted in 2014 to set up an EU-wide network of PESs for the 2014-20 period.

KEY POINTS

PESs' role in implementing European employment strategy

providers of information on the labour market: they collect data on job vacancies and potential applicants and provide information on training/retraining possibilities;

brokers: they display job vacancies to be filled and seek to match labour supply and demand;

market adjustment: by being involved in implementing labour market policies, PESs can help to adjust supply and demand in employment by means of, for example, programmes to reduce skills gaps.

Differing PES models

PESs' levels of effectiveness when delivering labour market programmes vary from one EU country to the next because of differing remits, organisational set-ups, instruments and labour markets.

An evolving environment

Changing profile of jobseekers (more highly educated young people, more women, ageing workforce, etc.);

Changing employers' needs (transition to a service economy);

Rapid technological change and the need to remain competitive;

Changing employment relationships (contracts, more flexible working time, etc.);

High and persistent levels of unemployment.

PESs working together

PESs have worked together informally at EU level since 1997 and are involved in the implementation of EU employment guidelines and the delivery of the associated national action plans.

Greater cooperation between PESs was seen as crucial to achieving the Europe 2020 strategy's employment targets. Thus, in 2014, the EU agreed to set up a network with a solid legal basis to intensify cooperation between EU countries' PESs.

It aims to:

benchmark to compare PES performance;

identify evidence-based good practices and promote mutual learning;

promote the improvement of PES service delivery, including of the Youth Guarantee;

contribute to the European employment strategy and the corresponding national policies.

For more information, see the European Commission's public employment services website.

RELATED ACTS

Decision No 573/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on enhanced cooperation between public employment services (PES) (OJ L 159, 28.5.2014, pp. 32-39).

Last updated: 20.04.2015

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