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Jobs in Demand

Policy Instrument

Jobs in Demand

Métiers en Demande
Belgium

Description

Timespan

2010 - 2014

Stage

No longer operational

Decomposition under Marshall plan 4.0 into: "fonctions critiques et métiers en pénurie", "les métiers d'avenir", "découvertes métier", and generic trainings.

Foundations

Policy area

The instrument aims to provide unemployed people with up-to-date information and training on professions and skills in demand. It is therefore considered a labour market policy.

Policy goal

The instrument aims to analyse the supply and demand of skills in the labour market, to adapt training to the needs of the market and in doing so, to match the skills available in the labour market. It identifies and creates a list of jobs that are in high demand (around 40), analyses individually the skills of the job seeker, and offers him the possibility of being qualified and specialised in those jobs (among a wide variety of jobs). The job seeker passes through 3 different processes: information ("CEFo"), orientation ("Essais-metier") and specialisation ("formations qualifiantes"). The "Jobs in Demand" tackled are: those with quantitative shortages, those that require the acquisition of new skills, demanded jobs involving sustainable growth and jobs highly demanded during economic booms. The policy goal is to address the existing skill mismatches in the Wallonian labour market by upskilling job seekers. The aim of the instrument is to have a labour supply of skills more in balanced with respect to the needs of the employers, benefiting, in turn, the unemployed. The PES analyses which professions are in need of employees. In doing so, it identifies the skills needed to be able to work in those sectors or professions. This list is presented on the FOREM website and is regularly updated. Thus, the unemployed can identify what sort of jobs are available to them or what sort of skills they need to learn to find employment. FOREM also provides information on which sectors and businesses are expected to need skills and workers in the long term. This particular Skills Demand platform is aimed more at those who are currently unemployed. FOREM offers various instruments and mechanisms to gain training through one’s employer or as a job seeker (the individualized support initiative for instance). So once the unemployed know which skills they require, trainings is made more accessible as well.

Mismatch

Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The instrument has been implemented as part of a broader programme, the Plan Marshall 2.0 Vert. This is an economic redeployment plan implemented by the Walloon Government in 2010. The plan focuses on economic development, and is a follow up to the previous Plan Marshall which ran until 2009. The Plan Marshall 2.0 Vert had a series of different priorities and axes to focus on compared to its predecessor to address the challenges facing the Walloon area in 2010 and beyond.

Administrative level

Regional

Main responsible body

This plan is initiated by the Walloon PES, FOREM.

Stakeholders

The Forem is in charge of the implementation of the policy. The Forem, through the device "Job Focus", produces a list with the most demanded jobs by the employers in the Wallonie.
The evaluation tasks are carried out by the IWEPS (Institut wallon de l'évaluation, de la prospective et de la statistique).
The "CEFo" (implemented by the Forem) and "Essais-Métiers" (implemented by the Forem, EFT/OISP and IFAPME) are funded by the Marshall Plan 2.0 Vert. "Formation qualifiante" is funded by classic credits from Forem and additional credits from MP2.V.

Funding

€86 million for the period 2010-2014 (Plan Marshall 2.vert): €6 million to "cefo", €20 million to "Essais-métier" and €60 milion to "formation qualifiante". The initial budget of the instrument was €52.6 million, transferred by the walloon government: €17.4 million to analyse the skills acquired and those required, €26.8 million for adapting the basic and vocational training offer, and €8.3 million for matching the skills on offer with those required.

Intended beneficiaries

The beneficiaries are the job seekers registered in the Forem who are informed, oriented and receive specialised employment services and training to enhance their adaptability in the labour market. Moreover, they are paid in the specialisation qualification training stage of the instrument. Employers benefit indirectly, as they experience less difficulties during the recruitment process, and ensure that job seekers are encouraged to train and apply for the offered jobs, including those which have a negative reputation.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

The initiative Job Focus analyses and publishes an annual list with the most demanded jobs in the region by employers, which analyses the skills needed for the occupations and the causes of the shortage. Then new training courses are created and adapted to give job seekers the opportunity to specialise in those jobs. Job seekers are also evaluated during the process through diagnostics of their skills in order to personalize their courses and trainings (screening devices).

Financial schemes

The financial incentives available for the target group of the instrument, job seekers, are the "frais stagiaires" (costs for internships), which is the amount of money received when doing the "formation qualifiante" (the specialised qualification training). Moreover, transport costs and childcare services are also covered.

Frequency of updates

The list of "Jobs in Demand" was updated annually.

Development

There has been some adjustments during the process: administrative simplifications in regard to payment delays; more specific monitoring in order to improve the orientation of the job seeker; and more accurate reports of jobs in demand by the Job Focus, aiming to specify the causes of skill mismatch for every job included.

Barriers

Firstly, at the beginning there wasn't a clear identification of the link between the demand of skills in the labour market and the trainings for specialisation ("formations qualifiantes"). Later on this link was outlined. Secondly, some specialisation trainings were overbooked, while others had a low demand from the job seekers (notably the case for trainings in the industrial sector). Thirdly, not all the skills acquired by the job seekers were subsequently provided with a certification.

Success factors

Two factors are mentioned to be especially important for the success of the measure. First, the individualised treatment received by the job seeker all along the process. Second, the wide variety of specialised training available for dealing with the real needs of the labour market in terms of skills requirements. In addition, the existence of short modules allowed job seekers to be quickly hired to acquire certain skills. A good network amongst the training centres also allowed employers to easily pick the employees they were interested in. The effective recruitment process was one of the most important factor of success of the instrument, being specially effective for lower educated job seekers with little experience in the labour market.

Monitoring

The indicators commonly described are the number of beneficiaires and the number of hours of training supplied in each part of the process (CEFo,EM,FQ).

Innovativeness

Slightly innovative

The orientation activities carried out in the "Essais-Metiers" are innovative in the sense that there's no longer a gap between the information and specialisation process. The articulation between the beginning and the end of the process therefore improves the results. The individualised treatment of the job seekers also brings innovation by looking at the idiosyncratic qualities of the potential worker and build from there all the process of specialisation.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

18 months after the beginning of the training process unemployment among the "takers" is reduced by one third. There is also a reduction of the residual median of unemployment to less than 19 weeks. Beneficiaries were expected to be 52,500 for the period 2010-2014. In 2012, the number of beneficiaries was 55,772. The effects of training in older unemployed were unexpectedly very positive, especially for all men and low educated women.

Engagement of stakeholders

Employers and employer associations are engaged to help identify the skills needed for the jobs most in demand.

Transferability

Easily transferable

The instrument could be easily transferable, as it does not rely heavily on the specifics in Wallonia. However, the implementation would have to be according to the specifications of each country (labour market situation, relationship between administration institutes, enterprises, etc).

Sustainability

This measure has already come to an end.