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About us

Who we are

WAPES (World Association of Public Employment Services) is a global platform that promotes the exchange of information on employment and the labour market between member States.

Almost 85 Public Employment Services from all over the world are members of the Association; together they represent more than 1 million staff, and they manage labour markets with unemployment rates ranging from two to 80 %.

WAPES was founded in 1988 by the public employment services of Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, together with the International Labour Organisation, ILO, which remains an observer of the organisation to this day.

WAPES is based on the values of its members. The values are non-for-profit orientation, transparency, equal opportunities, high quality in service delivery, accessibility, and service-orientation.


Our vision

WAPES is the only global network for decision-makers in the field of public employment service. Decisions taken in this network have a significant impact, thanks to a high rate of participation and a well thought-out management structure. WAPES adds value in the fields of employment, migration and education by setting up reference markers within and between world regions. 


What we do

Every year, WAPES organises activities in all regions of the world for the benefit of public employment services and other invited organisations. These activities include conferences, workshops, peer reviews, trainings, study visits and other consultancies as well as studies and surveys on public employment services' strategy and performance. They are organised in collaboration with our members and partners.

All the activities contribute to the objectives of the Association, which aims to become a major actor on the global scene, a platform for learning and knowledge-building, and a supporter that helps members build up their skills.