At the OECD’s Employment Ministerial, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD called for more resilient and inclusive labor markets.
More than ever, current labor market challenges require a policy that promotes resilience and flexibility. All parties are tested: companies to find appropriately trained and mobile workforces, workers to develop skills relevant to the labor market, and policymakers to provide for employment and social policy frameworks that encourage access for all, placing employment security over job security. The OECD’s goal should be to give guidance on ways to create more resilient and adaptable labor markets and jobs, within the context of the over-riding goal of enhancing productivity.
“The focus on employment security should serve to improve the resilience of the entire labor force and also facilitate the ability of workers to successfully progress among or between jobs”, said Ronnie Goldberg, chair of the BIAC Employment, Labor and Social Affairs Committee and senior counsel at USCIB.
The digitization of our economies should be seen not as a threat but as an opportunity. At the Ministerial, BIAC emphasized the importance of ongoing OECD work on skills and technology. Technological and structural changes inevitably result in labor market disruption. Flexibility-enhancing policies, together with those promoting life-long learning and development of strategic skills, are necessary to address these disruptions and raise aggregate employment levels.
BIAC also highlighted the importance to business of the current refugee crisis facing many OECD countries, and of labor migration in general. The business community is willing and able to assist governments in more swiftly processing and integrating refugees, for example by helping with skills assessment and recognition. At the same time, governments need to establish clear, transparent and efficient national immigration laws with policies that facilitate labor mobility, and allow the integration of migrants to meet labor market needs.
“Companies are well aware of the magnitude of the current challenge facing governments and local communities,” said Goldberg. “We have a wealth of on the ground experience and knowledge that can be brought to bear, and would welcome the opportunity to be at the table with policymakers.”