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Home arrow Communication arrow Labor Intermediation Services in Developing Economies: Adapting Employment Services for a Global Age

Stage 1: Building Core Employment Services

How does one create a service to deliver core employment services in poor developing countries even if the target is first a small number of formal jobs? To start, few developing countries are beginning from zero in Stage 1. It is more common for a developing country to have or have had some form of small, outdated and obscure public employment service (PES), serving few job seekers. Stage 1 countries may also have a few scattered private placement firms, typically in the capital city. These are likely storefront firms operating with little connection to public offices or the larger national labor market. There may also be some strong nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) supporting job placement as part of a community-based program. While this existing infrastructure may be taken into account, relaunching core employment services in today’s developing economies requires something wholly different to start - a strategy and defined partnership with the private sector.

This chapter examines how to build, rebuild or re-establish a more modern form of core employment services, termed Stage 1 in this book. These countries are largely lower-income developing countries, such as Guyana, but may include more middle-income countries such as Kenya and the countries of North Africa with a weak private and public institutional base. Most middle-income and transition countries should be considered institutionally at a second stage of services development (Chap. 4).

This chapter lays out key features and strategies of Stage 1 based on the experience of developing countries which have successfully restarted © The Author(s) 2017

J. Mazza, Labor Intermediation Services in Developing Economies, DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-48668-4_3

core employment services and are now well into the later stages of labor intermediation services. It also draws on lessons of the advanced OECD countries that, when appropriately modified, can apply to some developing country markets.

The central starting point for Stage 1 is a jobs strategy for working with the private sector. Three different types of jobs strategies used by developing countries are examined here. As you will soon read, from this strategy follows the rest: how and where core services are best delivered, including choices about the use of storefront locations, online services or whether to locate services within business associations themselves. The chapter also reviews key operational considerations and some service innovations used by developing countries in their early stages. Starting effective, even if small, is key, so performance and monitoring indicators are among the key operational considerations. For countries in Stage 1, while the word “core” sounds simple, getting to a viable volume of jobs and getting employer confidence in a new service requires the combination of a strategy, a viable institutional model, and an innovation or two - or three - taking into account today’s electronic economy.

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