To address the challenges that the structural shifts currently reshaping the world of work are creating, labour markets need to evolve to ensure that they remain open, inclusive and sustainable.
New solutions are required to ensure that people can work in the new ways that the 21st century allows and demands; while maintaining access to income, skilling and adequate safety nets.
International policy-makers are seeking ways to support national deciders and social partners in moving towards the world of work of the 21st century.
The 2018 OECD Jobs Strategy, employment declarations from the G7 and G20 and the ILO Future of Work Declaration are meant to guide and support national policy-makers in creating policies and regulations that are conducive to a futureproof labour market.
Yet, national follow-up of these tools, commitments and guidance is lagging. This hampers the ability of labour markets to adjust to changing economic realities and worker preferences and requirements.
The private employment industry believes in “Social Innovation” as the way forward in reforming and re-inventing labour markets. Social innovation is defined as the implementation of new solutions for working, learning and social protection for the benefit of workers, employers and society in general. The World Employment Confederation’s Members have developed a map detailing the goals and conditions of social innovation, suggesting some examples of potential actions, identifying which stakeholders our industry should work with and outlining the benefits and risks for our sector.
Furthermore, the World Employment Confederation adopted a Manifesto entitled “No Future of Work without Social Innovation” which develops five sets of recommendations and clear calls for action:
With climate change, demographic changes, technological development and – more generally – globalisation, the world of work is changing at an unprecedented pace and scale. While these changes have brought significant new opportunities, they have also led to inequality and risks of exclusion, threatening social cohesion, economic growth and human progress. As a result, the notion of “social justice” has become increasingly prominent in employment and labour market debates at global level. It has been an important theme on the agenda of the International Labour Organisation during 2023, with the creation of a Global Coalition for Social Justice.
The World Employment Confederation fully supports this initiative as it aligns with its vision of social innovation. A strategic issue paper details how the private employment services industry is already contributing to reducing inequalities in the world of work and how it can help advance social justice.