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Help Wanted: Social Innovation to Guide ILO's Next 100 Years


11 Jun 2019


Social Europe & Jobs

As the International Labour Organisation prepares to adopt a new Declaration to guide its work in the 21st century, the private employment services industry makes three policy recommendations to build a future of work that is fair and decent for diverse forms of work.

In more dynamic, volatile and unpredictable labour markets, people will face growing number of transitions and will increasingly need support to navigate them. Private employment services provide such support by empowering workers through work experience, career guidance and re-/up-skilling. Yet, further social innovation is needed to ensure that the future of work works for all.
For many years, members of the World Employment Confederation have been creating innovative solutions for working, learning and providing social protection ( “The private employment industry has already embarked on building a future of work that ensures fair and decent work  for diverse forms of employment,” says Annemarie Muntz, President of the World Employment Confederation. “Yet, the industry cannot do it alone. We need policymakers to create appropriate conditions for employment services to operate. As the International Labour Organisation (ILO) renews its mandate, the time is right to secure the best support to help people navigate labour market transitions, regardless of their labour contract.
The ILO has already adopted instruments to support workers in making those transitions, but these tools need to be leveraged with urgency and dedication to be truly effective. The World Employment Confederation recommends the ILO to take the following concrete actions:
  1. No Future of Work without Social Innovation! The coexistence of diverse forms of work requires to rethink our social protection schemes in order to provide new safety nets to workers. Policymakers and social partners in the ILO should work together to find innovative solutions for working, learning and providing social protection for all!
  2. Realise workers’ access to fundamental rights, collective bargaining and decent work by further encouraging ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 181 on Private Employment Agencies as it reconciles the need for efficient labour market allocation with the protection of workers.
  3. Dedicate resources and programmes to research and promote effective cooperation between public and private employment services (as stipulated in Convention 181). When public and private employment services successfully cooperate, policy and market work in tandem to support individuals in better navigating labour market transitions.
The private employment industry ensures a strong presence at the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) taking place in Geneva from 10-21 June with many WEC members and staff participating in different sessions. “The ILC is a unique opportunity for our industry to interact with policymakers and social partners from all around the world and promote innovative solutions to the challenges brought by the changing world of work”, explains Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation. “Our industry is ready to share experience and concrete initiatives that our members have developed to improve the working lives of people, for instance via innovative training solutions, broader health insurance coverage, access to mortgage loans or work opportunities for most disadvantaged people.