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Labour Market Policy and Unemployment

Impact and Process Evaluations in Selected European Countries

Edited by Jaap de Koning and Hugh Mosley

This book examines the effectiveness of active labour market policies and their contribution to the prevention of social exclusion. The evaluation studies reported in this volume focus on two aspects of active labour market policies that have been relatively neglected in previous research and merit special attention.
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Chapter 9: Activation through co-operation: a case study of the implementation of active measures in the Netherlands

Martijn van Velzen


Martijn van Velzen1 1 INTRODUCTION In the concept of ‘transitional labour markets’, co-operation is regarded as one of the four success criteria (Schmid, 1998, p. 10). More specifically: according to this view, networks should be established at the local level between actors involved in the implementation of active labour market policy (ALMP) in order to facilitate transitions from unemployment to work. Implementation of ALMP should not be left solely to the traditional local public employment service (PES). Instead, partnerships are to be realized including both public and private local actors. With respect to the co-operation criterion, the development of ALMP implementation in the Netherlands during the 1990s may serve as an interesting example. In the course of the 1990s, at least two remarkable developments have taken place in the field of labour market policy, which can be best characterized as ‘co-operation’ and ‘decentralization’. First, the implementation of ALMP measures, such as job creation and work experience schemes, has increasingly become a shared responsibility of municipalities, municipally linked organizations and the local PES; and, to a lesser extent, administration bodies for employee benefits and temporary employment agencies. Second, aside from being charged with a responsibility for reintegrating the hard-to-place unemployed, municipalities increasingly have a financial interest in placing long-term unemployed persons receiving social assistance.2 1.1 Institutional Setting of Dutch ALMP Traditionally the implementation of active labour market policy in the Netherlands has been organizationally separated from passive labour market measures. The mainly publicly funded3 tripartite PES, through its 18...

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