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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

marketization of employment related services

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Since 2002, more and more categories of employment related services by external providers have been subjected to competitive tendering (for the exception of vocational training vouchers, see innovation no. 25).
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Starting in 2002, gradually extended to more instruments of active labour market policy, open-ended
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural, fundamentally altering relationships between jobcentres and providers
  • Budgets: In 2012, 1.6 billion Euros were spent on the categories of measures that are subject to tendering
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: In 2012, 1 million participants entered measures that had been procured through competitive tendering
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective of the reform was to increase competition among providers and to disrupt local networks between jobcentres and providers which, at the time of introducing the reform, were perceived as too close and closed for new entrants to the market.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
public procurement by competitive tendering is of course commonplace; its strict use for procuring employment-related services was a new paradigm, however.
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • typical strategy for the innovation (optional; according to Obinger)-liberalisation
Type of innovation
  • new form of policy implementation/delivery
New outputs
  • governance (of the market for external employment -related services)
Intended target group
unemployed jobseekers
Working age population
  • employment situation (please specify: e.g. typical work/atypical/unemployed) (unemployed)
  • main source of income: social protection (please specify; e.g. unemployment benefits/disability benefits/social assistance/other benefits) (unemployment benefits, social assistance)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-agency or national social insurance body
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-private for-profit organisations (commercial)
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO)
Clarification of the role of various actors
Providers need accreditation in order to submit bids.
Intended output
  • governance
  • job guidance, coaching and counselling
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
By increasing price competition and uncertainty for training providers, the quality of working contracts with providers is downgraded. Providers are forced to use fixed-term contracts or to employ more freelancers.
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