“ Labour market shortages in a period of unemployment” Panel 2: Best practices and possible solutions EESC /  Labour Marke...
OECD  employment outlook 15/09/2011  <ul><li>Unemployment remains stubbornly high (well above the level before the crisis)...
Evolution of the Unemployment Rate in Belgium (Eurostat)
Reasons for the Positive Evolution <ul><li>ECONOMIC REASONS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good financial health of the Belgian com...
Labour market in Belgium  <ul><li>Evolution of  vacancies received  by the regional institutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nu...
A labour market paradox ? <ul><li>Even in current times of high unemployment, many vacancies remain open for a long time a...
Causes of shortages  <ul><li>Demand side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative  image  of the job (contents and conditions) </li>...
Belgian context <ul><li>Federal level: National Employment Agency  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Administration of unemployment be...
General policies (1) <ul><li>Training  in open competence centres (centers of excellence). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In partne...
General policies (2) <ul><li>Focus on “ green ” professions (related to renewable energy and sustainable development). </l...
Case study: Manpower Logistics Academy <ul><li>One week training programme fork lift truck and reach truck operators. </li...
Case study: Brussels Airport Community <ul><li>Several companies located at the airport face shortages of various nature: ...
In the nursing sector <ul><li>Structural bottleneck </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance attractiveness through additional benefi...
Specific issues in labour-intensive sectors <ul><li>Fruit picking:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultation between industry, l...
Some conclusions <ul><li>No general solutions: strategy (and its potential success) depends largely on the type of problem...
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Labour market shortages in a period of unemployment - Best practices and possible solutions

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Presentation by Lieven Desmet (Adviser, Belgian National Employment Office - ONEM/RVA) on the occasion of the EESC LMO meeting on Labour market shortages in a period of unemployment of 16 November 2011.

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Labour market shortages in a period of unemployment - Best practices and possible solutions

  1. 1. “ Labour market shortages in a period of unemployment” Panel 2: Best practices and possible solutions EESC / Labour Market Observatory   Hearing , 16 November 2011, Brussels Dr Lieven Desmet Belgian National Employment Office (ONEM/RVA)
  2. 2. OECD employment outlook 15/09/2011 <ul><li>Unemployment remains stubbornly high (well above the level before the crisis). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job creation will remain anaemic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long term unemployment on the rise. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steep rise in USA, Germany is an exception. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effective labour market policies can make the difference. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well-designed hiring subsidies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on most vulnerable groups, such as the young. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Evolution of the Unemployment Rate in Belgium (Eurostat)
  4. 4. Reasons for the Positive Evolution <ul><li>ECONOMIC REASONS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good financial health of the Belgian companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The sectors employing a lot of workers (for example the construction sector) were less affected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of the good performances of Germany, its main trading partner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EMPLOYMENT POLICIES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partial unemployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reintegration measure : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The service voucher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The win win plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The plan for guidance and follow-up of the jobseekers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Labour market in Belgium <ul><li>Evolution of vacancies received by the regional institutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number declined steadily through 2008-2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rising again during 2010, reaching levels well above level of 2007. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A measure of shortage ( Herremans et al., 2011 ) </li></ul>Tension-ratio = (supply of candidates) / (demand of labour) The ratio is declining since 2003, meaning that the tension increased, except during 2008-2009 when we saw the labour market loosening a bit. The ratio always is smaller for highly skilled personnel.
  6. 6. A labour market paradox ? <ul><li>Even in current times of high unemployment, many vacancies remain open for a long time and there is significant shortage in certain professions. </li></ul><ul><li>This shortage can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative: not enough candidates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative: candidates have insufficient skills. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Due to structural conditions: candidates unwilling to work in given labour conditions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In relation to this phenomenon, a variety of terminology is used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortage professions (FR: métiers en pénurie, fonctions critiques) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tensions, bottlenecks in the labour market (NL: knelpunten, krapte op de arbeidsmarkt) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talent gap </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Causes of shortages <ul><li>Demand side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative image of the job (contents and conditions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failing recruitment (recruitment channels, too high requirements) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supply side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unemployment or inactivity “traps” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of mobility (including interregional mobility) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Withdrawn jobseekers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>insufficient or inadequate skills , lack of application skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intermediary level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inadequate counseling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mismatch between training opportunities and employers needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>External factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic climate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographic evolution (ageing population) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education lagging behind with respect to evolving needs of employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School failure and school dropout </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Belgian context <ul><li>Federal level: National Employment Agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Administration of unemployment benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and federal employment measures. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regional institutions: VDAB,FOREM en ACTIRIS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Counselling of jobseekers (including training). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing of vacancies and monitoring of shortage professions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NEO gathers the data from the regional institutions and publishes an annual list of shortage professions: under certain conditions a jobseeker can resume full-time education or training preparing for professions on this list, while receiving unemployment benefits but without the obligations of being a jobseeker . </li></ul>
  9. 9. General policies (1) <ul><li>Training in open competence centres (centers of excellence). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In partnership with employers, trade representants, schools, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing regional bottlenecks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible and complementary to existing training programmes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended learning and mixed trajects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better counselling , at an earlier stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced entry in education of shortage professions. </li></ul><ul><li>Raising employment rates in specific groups (older than 55, lowly skilled, migrant workers, …) </li></ul>
  10. 10. General policies (2) <ul><li>Focus on “ green ” professions (related to renewable energy and sustainable development). </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange of vacancies between the regional institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives for language and skills training . </li></ul><ul><li>Jobdatings : meetings between jobseekers and employers from a certain trade. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s next: some examples of good practices (based on a report from the Research Institute on Work and Society from KULeuven university). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Case study: Manpower Logistics Academy <ul><li>One week training programme fork lift truck and reach truck operators. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free of charge, no delay. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hands-on, oriented to the job. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidates screened and guided through the agency network. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very successful project and Win-win situation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employers see their vacancies filled rapidly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate gets a free training and a job at the end of it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the agency an excellent opportunity to gain market share. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extended to other related professions and 3 sites (2010). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>971 candidates trained in 2010, 75% were placed successfully. </li></ul></ul>Private training initiative from a temporary employment agency specialised in the logistics sector.
  12. 12. Case study: Brussels Airport Community <ul><li>Several companies located at the airport face shortages of various nature: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs that require specific skills or training. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue collar jobs with heavy manual labour in an irregular time schedule. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brussels Airport Company takes a coordinating role: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detection and inventarisation of bottlenecks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering and publishing of vacancies on the airport website. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication strategy based on the attractive image of the airport. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiatives for improving accessibility of the airport. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job events at the airport, in-house temporary employment agency. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creation of “Metropolitan Brussels Community”. </li></ul>Comprehensive strategy and coordinated actions in a specific working environment
  13. 13. In the nursing sector <ul><li>Structural bottleneck </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance attractiveness through additional benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased function differentiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(take certain tasks out of the nurse’s duties) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiring of students for limited beginner’s jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Temporary employment agency: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solves temporary shortages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps guiding candidates towards permanent positions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases the pool of available personnel by allowing extremely flexible schedules </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Specific issues in labour-intensive sectors <ul><li>Fruit picking: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultation between industry, local authorities and employment agencies to create a pool of available workers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Official recognition of shortage allows legal hiring of foreign workers and more transparancy in the sector. </li></ul></ul>Low wages and a bad image of certain sectors create shortages, e.g. in the cleaning sector and in fruit picking. <ul><li>Cleaning sector: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaboration between a hospital and RESOC in a “diversity plan” (intensive coaching and training of candidates from “opportunity groups”). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making the threshold as low as possible: information meeting at a breakfast session, no need for cv, letter or phone call. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Some conclusions <ul><li>No general solutions: strategy (and its potential success) depends largely on the type of problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Many stakeholders but many hopeful initiatives, often with public-private collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated counsellors with sectoral expertise can enhance guidance of jobseekers. </li></ul>

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