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Participation jobs

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This act allows unemployed on social assistance or UEB to work for a maximum of 24 months in an additional, unpaid job for an employer. The objective is to increase skills and competences with regards to the labour market and to decrease ?the distance from the labour market?. The program is aimed at the more vulnerable, long-term unemployed with little chances to find work. The program can offer a financial bonus to participants as well as additional schooling. Outflow to regular work is considered to be a desirable side-effect, but not the main objective.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • education
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
2009-2011. The policy was ended because a new participation act was due, but as a result of political developments and the crisis this participation act has been postponed to 2015
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: Temporary
  • Budgets: Not specified, municipalities and UEB-agency decide how to implement and finance this law from available budgets
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: Not specified
  • Spatial coverage: National, but mainly implemented in the big cities
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
This act is meant to provide opportunities for gaining work-related skills in a working place to unemployed with little chances to find work. The target group consists of unemployed who in the favourable pre-crisis labour market could not find a job. The strategy is to allow unemployed to work in an unpaid job for a maximum of two years. The job has to be ?additional? and cannot replace regular jobs: this is tested. The act allows municipalities and the UEB-agency to give financial premiums to participants when they participate successfully: criteria for this are determined at the local level. Also, the participants can make use of additional schooling.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
Temporary program, although it is likely that similar instruments will be part of the participation act in 2015
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • learning workplaces
  • subsidies/tax-credits (Premium for the unemployed when they participate successfully (different measures of success apply))
Intended target group
Unemployed with little chances to find work, receiving social assistance or UEB
Working age population
  • employment situation (Unemployed)
  • income level (low/medium/high) (Low)
  • main source of income: social protection (Social Assistance or UEB)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body
  • central state (Regulation and budget)
  • municipal government
Clarification of the role of various actors
The participation jobs are an instrument that municipalities could use given their de-central responsibility for re-integration of social assistance recipients. It depended on municipal policies how the program was implemented exactly. Especially the larger cities have actually used the instrument.The UEB-agency could also make use of this program, but has hardly done so.
Intended output
  • learning workplaces
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
Around 15-22% of the participants has found paid work , 60% was still at work after 18 months. (measured for the period 2009-2011)
Intended and unintended outcomes
14.000 unemployed have participated in the program, mainly social assistance recipients, Around 15-22% of the participants has found paid work , 60% was still at work after 18 months. (measured for the period 2009-2011)
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
According to municipalities this instrument has proven valuable for the ?hard to place? unemployed. They notice an increase in participation (skills), especially of the more vulnerable unemployed. Statistics substantiate this observation, but robust effects have not been measured. Outflow to work is considered a side-effect, but given the target group the placement percentage of 15-22% can be called significant. No data are available on formal educational progress or the impact of premiums. Overall, this program seems a promising policy to (re-)attach vulnerable unemployed to the labour market by means of working experience, but the evaluation results are not conclusive.
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