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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Press information on the Conference: Innovation in labour market policy - New challenges in the age of globalisation

 

On 16 and 17 February, Minister Bartenstein and EU Commissioner Špidla invited, as part of the Austrian EU Presidency, interested parties to attend an international high-level conference on “Innovation in labour market policy – New challenges in the age of globalisation.” The declared and achieved aim was a comprehensive exchange of experience.

During three workshops, examples of best practice from several European countries, the US and Australia were presented, with the focus on the organisation of labour market services, labour market policy for young people and migrants, as well as experience of improving the low wage sector.

Minister Bartenstein stressed that new and innovative ideas were required in labour market policy in order to meet the challenges of globalisation. He stated that Flexicurity – combining social security and increased flexibility – was designed to ensure greater and more efficient labour market policy. The Minister also said that, instead of job security, the emphasis should be on employability. Commissioner Špidla also highlighted Flexicurity as a forward-looking model.

Steps should be taken earlier at the school-labour market interface in order to deal with the problem of young job-seekers with fewer qualifications, who often come from immigrant families. Grants for the low-wage sector should be used sparingly and targeted at specific groups, particularly as only a small proportion of jobs promoted in this way are newly created. Other objectives involve increasing the number of women and older people in employment.

Together with the Italian Minister for Employment, Roberto Maroni, and the Irish Minister for Employment, Tony Killeen, 300 delegates from all EU Member States, the two accession countries of Romania and Bulgaria and the two candidate countries of Croatia and Turkey participated in the conference. The European Parliament, the OECD, the ILO and numerous experts from social-partner organisations were also represented.

 

See also: Ministry of Economics and Labour press release of 17.02.2006

Date: 01.03.2006