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PES practices for activating vulnerable jobseekers

Public employment services (PES) can offer much more effective help to jobseekers if they expand their on-line services. Latin-American countries are well placed to exploit digitalization as internet-penetration is relatively high: it is above the European average in several LAC countries. Currently just over two thirds of LAC PES are using ICT for in-house and customer services and the range of on-line services offered by PES is rather uneven. While some LAC countries have a national web-portal that offers detailed information on job vacancies and PES services, many seem to lag behind in developing on-line information tools.

Digitalization is especially effective in data driven services that require the transmission of specific information and there is no need for real time interaction between the client and PES staff, such as preparing a CV or searching the vacancy database. Digitalisation can save a lot time for both the PES and for jobseekers. It also saves travel expenses, which can be high, especially in rural areas. Digitalisation can also improve the effectiveness of PES services as it may increase the quantity and quality of the information supporting the decisions of PES staff and jobseekers.

In cooperation with Economix Consulting, BI has prepared a review for the Inter-American Development Bank of programmes for vulnerable jobseekers in OECD countries. The focus of the review was mainly on services and measures provided by public employment services (PES). The selection of PES practices reflected the peculiarity of the Latin-American context. We identified the lack of basic skills and vocational skills, poor job search skills and low level of trust in the PES as important barriers of employment. As most Latin-American PES have limited capacities, we focused mainly on practices that do not require large investments in terms of PES staff or data infrastructure. Some of these exploit the potential in expanding ICT, while others rely on cooperating with NGOs and external providers or on profiling jobseekers in order to improve the targeting of PES services.  

Project details
ClientInter-American Development Bank
Project leader Ágota Scharle
Duration03/12/2015 - 15/08/2016