Brussels, 17 June 2013
Employment: Commission proposes to help jobless by improving efficiency of public employment services
Member States' public employment services have a crucial role to play in helping the 26 million unemployed in Europe to get a job. This is why the European Commission has proposed a Decision to help public employment services to maximise their effectiveness through closer cooperation to better address the needs of the unemployed and businesses.
Effective public employment services are essential for the practical implementation by Member States of employment policies, such as the Youth Guarantee. For example, public employment services are well placed to advise individual jobseekers on training, apprenticeship, traineeship and further education opportunities adapted to their situation and to employers' requirements.
Moreover, public employment services also vital in ensuring a better match between jobseekers with particular skills and employers looking for these skills. The latest issue of the European Vacancy Monitor shows that despite record unemployment in Europe, 1.7 million vacancies remain unfilled in the EU.
"Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public employment services, which have a key role to play in active labour market policies, is essential to tackle high unemployment" said European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor. "This proposal would help public employment services to fulfil that essential role and support greater European coordination of employment policies".
The proposed Decision would establish a platform for comparing the performance public employment services against relevant benchmarks, identifying best practices and fostering mutual learning. Public employment services have themselves indicated that with such a system in place, labour market problems could be detected earlier on.
The network would also provide support for the practical implementation by Member States of employment policies. A notable example is implementation of the Youth Guarantee agreed by the EU's Council of Ministers, which calls on Member States to ensure that young people are offered a job, further education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving school (see IP/12/1311, MEMO/12/938, SPEECH/12/910, MEMO/13/152).
The network would help Member States to implement the country-specific recommendations on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public employment services issued by the Council in the framework of the European Semester (see IP/13/463).
Public Employment Services are due to discuss reinforced cooperation at a Summit on youth unemployment taking place in Berlin on 3 July They are due to present concrete measures to implement the Youth Guarantee, and discuss how to assist each other in this area.
The proposed Decision will now go to the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for adoption, and should be implemented from 2014.
Once the proposed Decision is adopted, each Member State would nominate from the senior management of its Public Employment Service one member and one alternate member to sit in the Board of the Public Employment Services Network. The Commission would also appoint one member and one alternate member to the Board.
The role of Public Employment Services is currently being redefined in most Member States in order to turn them into more agile, modern and customer-oriented service providers to provide active employment solutions. Modern and efficient Public Employment Services need to develop greater cooperation with education and training bodies, foster synergies with private and other employment operators, pay closer attention to employers’ needs and to skills development and increasingly use information and communications technologies in an intelligent way.
An informal European Expert Group of Public Employment Services (PES) exists since 1997, providing timely and useful input to the Commission on employment issues.
The proposed Decision would not only formalise its status and clearly define its tasks, but also facilitate the implementation of labour market projects financed by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Public Employment Services will continue to cooperate with each other within EURES, the pan-EU job search network.
For more information
News item on DG Employment website:
László Andor's website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/andor/index_en.htm
Follow László Andor on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LaszloAndorEU
Subscribe to the European Commission's free e-mail newsletter on employment, social affairs and inclusion: http://ec.europa.eu/social/e-newsletter