Getting better together:
Exchange of the WAPES G7 Working Group Changing Labour Markets with Johannes Kopf, Chair of the European Public Employment Services (PES) Network
On 2nd of March, the WAPES G7 Working Group Changing Labour Markets met the Chair of the European Public Employment Services, Johannes Kopf, member of the board of the Austrian Labour Market Service. Johannes Kopf highlighted five priorities for European and national initiatives based upon the Network’s position paper “PES and greening labour markets” (2021) to equip PES with the necessary capacities to well support the green transition:
- Understanding green jobs, in particular the nature and trends in changing job profiles. So far, no common definition exists, but there are a number of interesting PES approaches.
- Understanding skills needs and labour market dynamics of the green transition using PES expertise
- Supporting skills development in light of green labour markets fostering broad alliances and innovative approaches for active labour market programmes
- Linking active labour market programmes to green activities including jobseekers with lower skills levels and groups furthest from the labour market, e.g. in waste management. This requires a flexible adaptation of ALMPs taking into account regional and local priorities.
- Partnerships of PES with other relevant stakeholders at all levels have a cross-cutting role.
Johannes Kopf stressed the sometimes underestimated role of active labour market programmes to cushion job losses due to policy decisions, for example in the area of decarbonisation. These may have a disruptive impact in certain regions.
Looking at PES themselves as a public body, he set out that it is time to strengthen the green axis within approaches for Corporate Social Responsibility. The Austrian PES, for example, is making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint which is not easy to measure.
Having carried out various activities in the area of greening economies, the European PES Network has collected a considerable number of interesting practices which can be shared.
Members of the WAPES G7 working group found the exchange quite inspiring highlighting some common issues and also the need to learn from each other given different stages of PES engagement in this area.
All participants stressed the importance of getting better together. As Johannes Kopf put it: “Every PES has something to learn from its peers, no PES is perfect.”
The WAPES Working Group will produce a Communication on G7 PES and greening economies in spring 2023 and organise mutual learning on this basis.
Susanne Kraatz (WAPES Executive Secretariat)