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Regional coordination of labour market policy

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This innovation aims at stimulating regional coordination of stakeholders involved in labour market policies (employers, public agencies, schools), based upon the premise that Dutch labour markets are of a regional nature. The innovation consists of regulations that stipulate coordination and cooperation, as well as a temporary subsidy to organize platforms to facilitate coordination.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2002
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: not available
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
This policy aims to stimulate regional institutional cooperation with regards to labour market policies. This has been a topic since the nineties, given the regional nature of labour markets. This specific innovation was part of the SUWI-law in 2002. It was expected that cooperation would be in the interest of stake holders, so no hard regulation was implemented. A temporary subsidy was available to organize platforms of regional exchange on labour market issues. Because results were poor, since 2002 various new agreements and convenants have been made between stake holders to stimulate coordination and cooperation. By law, large municipalities are supposed to take the lead in realizing coordination. Since 2011 they are also obliged to co-operate with the social insurance department (UWV) to jointly organize regional services for employers.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
structural
Type of innovation
  • new form of partnership or cooperation
New outputs
  • governance (This innovation aims to re-organize regional cooperation and networks with regards to labour market policy)
Intended target group
Institutional actors involved in regional labour market policies: municipalities, social insurance agency UWV, schools, employer organisations
Employers-private institutional actors
Employer organisations
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body
  • central state (regulation)
  • employers (organised or individual)
  • municipal government
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial)
Clarification of the role of various actors
All relevant regional organisations involved in labour market policies are supposed to participate in the platforms.
Intended output
  • governance (The platforms have been realised, but coordinated policies have not been achieved)
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Outcomes in terms of resilience have not been measured. Several studies since 2002 prove it has been very hard to realise effective regional cooperation on labour market issues, despite various amendments and new initiatives. Employers are dissatisfied. A 2013 evaluation concludes that regional coordination is still not functioning well. This is attributed to conflicts of interests between actors as well as the non-overlapping of networks of employers, schools and municipalities. The platforms lack mandate and resources. To sum up, as an example of network governance the platforms have not proven to be successful despite efforts over more than 20 years. The government continues investing in regional cooperation: for example, the 2013 action plan on youth employment is organized regionally.
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