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In times of crisis, contribution of private employment agencies crucial to implementing public employment policies


20 May 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

More cooperation between private and public employment services will help to face rising unemployment

Brussels, 20 May 2009: In these times of economic crisis, it is crucial that all labour market players, both public and private, join forces in a coordinated way to improve the efficiency of the labour market and fight the sharp rise of unemployment to be expected in 2009 and 2010.

Eurociett, the representative body for the Private Employment Agency industry (PrEA) in Europe, has called for greater cooperation between private and public employment services to deliver on flexicurity policies. New forms of partnerships should be developed at national and local level in order to implement active labour market policies, by co‐ordinating public employment services and private employment agencies’ complementary strengths and expertise. This will help address the current economic crisis’ impact on employment and the future challenges of European labour markets (ie. New skills for new jobs, Post Lisbon strategy).

This call was made during the conference organised by the European Commission on “Labour market institutions in times of crisis: challenges and experiences” on the 14th and 15 th of May. The event gathers representatives from national governments, public employment services, NGOs, employers’ organisations, and the private employment agency industry.

Speaking at the conference, Annemarie Muntz, president of Eurociett said, “The PrEA industry is ideally positioned to support public employment agencies in implementing active labour market policies. Private employment agencies increase transparency in the labour market by acting as an economic indicator and carrying out regular research into labour market trends. The sector efficiently and effectively matches supply and demand using its skill assessment tools and has precise knowledge of labour market needs in real time enabling it to implement rapid actions to address current challenges.”

Muntz added that “PrEAs facilitate social, geographical and professional mobility and have been cooperating with PES as with local communities over many years in order to help job‐seekers re‐enter the labour market”. In the Netherlands, 50,000 agency workers from target groups find direct employment through agency work every year. Public and private employment agencies should be further enticed to work in a complementary fashion to improve the efficiency of the labour market by, amongst other things, exchanging information on job vacancies, candidate profiles and skills and labour market developments, and also cooperating in the implementation of training, and in supporting the unemployed in returning to the labour market.

In some countries, private employment agencies have been officially recognised as playing a key role in implementing public employment policies (e.g. in France with the 2005 “Loi de modernisation sociale”). However, the level and form of cooperation varies considerably between the EU Member States and is underdeveloped or non‐existent in several of the EU Member States. Therefore there is a significant need to further develop cooperation between public and private employment services and strengthen the exchange of best‐practices between EU countries.

Editors notes: As the European confederation of private employment agencies, Eurociett is the authoritative voice representing the common interests of the agency work industry in Europe. Bringing together 27 national federations and six of the largest multinational staffing companies as well as tens of thousands of SMEs, Eurociett accounts for more than 90% of the organised agency work sector in Europe.

More info at

For further information, please contact:

Denis Pennel

Managing Director of Eurociett

Tel: +32 475 86 75 10 or


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