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Making it work

Global efforts to transform public employment services

Labour market disruptors are converging. Economies are quickly digitalising, our workforces are ageing, new skills are in demand and the support needs of jobseekers and employers are more complex than ever.

Many public sector agencies are working hard to identify what needs to change within their employment services and recalibrate accordingly. How can they better serve jobseekers, workers and employers while expanding employment opportunities for all?

As businesses and labour markets experience unprecedented pressures, there’s no better time to reinvent public employment services (PES). Download our latest report to kick-start your transformation journey.

Driving effective responses to disruptors


New approaches to employment support are being launched amid technology shifts, economic disruptions and social change. Coming with the need to cultivate and deliver the skill sets that are most in demand, these factors are having profound consequences on work and access to employment services.

Our report outlines the key converging pressures and trends in PES today:


  • The digital revolution is disrupting workers and industries
  • The demands for automation require continual adaptation
  • The expectations of online access to support and services are increasing


  • Labour participation rates are falling
  • In-work poverty is prevalent
  • Non-traditional work arrangements are increasing
  • Mismatch in labour market demand and supply
  • Economies are in transition


  • Workforces and populations are ageing
  • More people are facing multiple and/or complex barriers to employment
  • Racialised and equity-seeking communities are lagging in economic outcomes and access to support

Learn more about how these factors impact employment and public employment services in our report.


Your road map to employment services transformation


Supporting jobseekers and employers requires a new action plan for PES. To meet evolving demands, many organisations are either planning or undertaking large-scale transformations. We’ve outlined seven trends in the common practices and initiatives adopted by leading employment services organisations.

We recognise that each model is context specific. While many of these models have not been implemented long enough to assess their efficacy, these trends can inspire some choices for your own transformational journey.

PES organisations are expanding service delivery across hybrid, in-person and digital models to upskill potential workers with low digital literacy. Some jurisdictions are prioritising digital-first approaches, while others are offering in-person and digital options with a broader range of employment supports. This is not an either-or proposition, as digital-first and digital by desire both exist on the continuum of digital strategies.

What does success look like?

  • Providing a user-friendly, accessible and fully functional digital experience
  • Conducting effective segmentation so that those with low digital literacy or access are referred to in-person services
  • Making digital literacy a fundamental part of training

PES organisations are investing in digital platforms, tools and software to improve client experiences, accelerate outcomes and reduce administrative work. In turn, this leads to more efficient resource allocation and more effective service delivery.

What does success look like?

  • Creating end-to-end digital value chains for jobseekers to search for jobs, easily apply and get prompt advice from employment counselors
  • Providing proactive support, such as assistive resume builders, automated upskilling platforms and career pathway suggestions
  • Connecting platforms to provide analysts with comprehensive data to inform future programmes and policies
  • Enhancing back-end case management to allow employment counselors to monitor progress and direct individuals to in-person channels when needed

There's a difference between a job and the right job. PES organisations are increasingly focusing on programming that supports meaningful and lasting employment.

What does success look like?

  • Using funding models that offer the right outcomes-based incentives for the provider network
  • Establishing frameworks that enable, prioritise and measure longer-term employment outcomes
  • Creating data frameworks that measure individual employment outcomes

Addressing the root conditions that exclude people from the workforce starts with creating holistic support services. PES organisations are deliberately channelling additional resources to better serve the jobseekers who are furthest from the labour market.

What does success look like?

  • Devolving the delivery and co-ordination of wraparound interventions to the community level, where they tend to work best
  • Facilitating linked and standardised datasets to support the identification, case management and tracking of outcomes for clientsIncentivising local collaboration with new contracting approaches
  • Assisting caseworkers, employment counselors and clients in accessing the right supports through navigation supports and real-time mapping of services
  • Co-creating plans with clients, where interventions are structured based on their ambitions and needs

With the current shortage of workers in the labour market, PES organisations are expanding engagement with employers to help them to find the right talent.

What does success look like?

  • Building the skill sets of PES workers to better engage and support employers
  • Developing frameworks that facilitate access to services for employers, especially those in sectors experiencing skill shortages and those who assist clients facing employment barriers
  • Creating service standards for employer engagement, including response times, satisfaction levels and follow-up commitments

Every PES client has unique needs and many require bespoke services. By introducing standardised and increasingly sophisticated needs-based assessments, PES organisations can identify the type and level of support required for each client more effectively.

What does success look like?

  • Implementing a universal assessment system that encompasses employment and social supports
  • Deploying a tried-and-tested, ethical, machine-learning framework to mitigate bias in assessments
  • Extracting the necessary information to guide decision-making around personal service plans
  • Collecting aggregate, anonymised data to support system-level planning

With the right data, information and policies, PES organisations can benchmark performance at the system level and reward contracted providers when sustained job outcomes or other goals are achieved. Introducing these measures not only improves funding, but also helps make innovation a reality.

What does success look like?

  • Creating a performance framework (with service providers) that accounts for various client needs, journeys and goals
  • Collecting data from the initial assessments to outcomes achieved to identify areas for improvement and adjust services and delivery model(s) accordingly to provide better support
  • Enhancing reputational incentives for providers and establishing a system of appropriate consequences for poor performance

Seven strategic choice sets


As employment programmes and services are urged to evolve, PES organisations must act to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve identified seven pathways to guide your modernisation efforts. These choice sets are interdependent, with impacts across all layers of the employment services delivery model and value chain:

  1. Identifying target client groups and outcomes
  2. Expanding your service portfolio
  3. Assessing your approach to service determination
  4. Improving digital strategy and navigation supports
  5. Developing a partnership strategy
  6. Sustaining organisational stewardship and autonomy
  7. Exploring employer engagement

Download the report to explore the key questions that can help steer your transformation journey.


Defining the future of employment services


The economic landscape is quickly evolving, with demographic shifts and changing skill requirements that are increasingly challenging to navigate. As governments around the world redesign programmes and services for jobseekers, workers and employers, there are important lessons to take and operationalise.

The recalibration of how employment services are delivered is already under way—and opportunities abound for those that are ready to transform.

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