Measures, Public Private Partnerships and Benchmarking
Edited by Jaap de Koning
Chapter 8: Between Efficiency and Equality: New Public–Private Arrangements in Employment Assistance for the Unemployment
8. Between eﬃciency and equality: new public-private arrangements in employment assistance for the unemployed Ludo Struyven* 1 INTRODUCTION Most Western countries have a long tradition of employment service provision by public bodies and non-proﬁt organisations, but not by for-proﬁt organizations. Under the inﬂuence of the activation policy, an increasing number of countries are introducing a market structure in the organization of publicly ﬁnanced labour market services. Policy-implementation tasks are shifting from the Public Employment Service (PES) towards private organizations, while the public provider no longer acts as ﬁrst or preferred supplier for the government. Involving private players in the implementation of the public task of job brokerage and reintegration1 of job seekers means that the traditional subsidy tool is being replaced by a quasi-market arrangement. Countries which decide to involve the private (for-proﬁt and non-proﬁt) sector on a substantive scale face a dual challenge: not only tackling unemployment but also implementing market competition. This chapter identiﬁes as two key issues the need to actively create suﬃcient room for market competition, and the need for ‘positive creaming’ which encourages providers to concentrate their eﬀorts on the most disadvantaged target groups. To what extent are countries succeeding in addressing both of these issues simultaneously? Is the introduction of market forces taking place at the expense of groups that have relatively more diﬃculty in the labour market? In other words, is there a new tradeoﬀ between equality and eﬃciency? In this chapter...
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