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OECD Local Development Forum 

Webinar Series

The OECD Local Development Forum invites you to the following webinar:


Thursday 22 October, 2020   15:00-16:30 CEST (Central European Summer Time)Zoom meeting

This webinar is organised in collaboration with the World Association of Public Employment Services

Website • Webinar registration • Contact 



COVID-19 is causing unemployment to spike across the OECD.  The average OECD unemployment rate is estimated to reach 9.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 if there is no second wave of the virus, up from 5.3% at the end of 2019. In the case of a second outbreak, it could reach 12.6%. A second wave could hit businesses and households even harder, as many are still recovering from the first wave. And the recovery will not be rapid, with unemployment remaining at 7.7% at the end of 2021, or 8.9% if there is a second wave.


Employment services are playing an important role in keeping labour markets functioning during COVID-19. To fulfil this challenging role, they need to be agile, quickly adapt to the new situation and adjust their response frequently and flexibly to respond to unpredictable developments. Many local employment services are facing an unparalleled inflow of new jobseekers, but cannot meet with their clients in person due to confinement restrictions. At the same time, the number of job offers is shrinking in many sectors, leaving employment services with fewer vacancies to propose. Some sectors, such as medical services and agriculture are confronted with severe labour shortages. 


Digital  services  are  a  key  element  of  the  short-and  medium-term  response  by  local employment services in light of COVID-19.  Those that had digital tools in place prior to the pandemic outbreak are in a better situation now: the process for benefit applications can remain unchanged and support to jobseekers via distant communication can continue without interruption. Other employment services have set-up alternatives, such as call centres. 


This webinar will discuss how the functioning of local employment services has changed in light of COVID-19 and what the future may look like. It will provide an opportunity to learn about the experience of employment services across regions and cities in the OECD, while also hearing from a number of top thinkers and practitioners about threats and opportunities facing employment services going forward with a particular focus on the role and set-up of regional and local employment services.


15:00 – 15:05            Introduction to the webinar (Moderator)

·        Jonathan Barr, Deputy Head of Division, Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division and Head of Unit, Employment and Skills, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities


15:05 – 15:15            Opening remarks

·        Karen Maguire,  Head of Division, Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division,  OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities


15:15 – 16:00         Panel discussionthe future of employment services

·        Scott Eychner, Administrator, Workforce Services, Montana Department of Labor and Industry, United States

·        Suzanne SkinnerDirector, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Canada (tbc)

·        Stephan HeukeDeputy Director for International Affairs, Federal Employment Agency Germany (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

·        Murielle Antille, SVP, Head of Government Affairs at Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) and Chair of the World Employment Confederation (WEC) Career Management Group


16:00 – 16:30      Q&A session and interactive chat


Zoom connection details:

Please register for the Zoom meeting by completing this form. Once submitted, you will receive an automated registration confirmation message containing a personalized link to join the meeting. Please save this link carefully, and check to ensure that it has not been sent to your junk mail folder. Please do not share these details on public websites or social media. Please note that this webinar will be recorded and made accessible online after completion.



About CFE

The OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities provides comparative statistics, analysis and capacity building for local and national actors to work together to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises, promote inclusive and sustainable regions and cities, boost local job creation, and support sound tourism policies. 


This event is part of the OECD Local Development Forum. The Forum gathers thousands of local practitioners, entrepreneurs and social innovators from around the world to discuss the latest OECD research and to share international good practice. | | @OECD_local | Linkedin | CFE Newsletter