G20 taskforce tackles global employment issues

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Government representative at G20

Youth unemployment, long-term unemployment and developing people’s skills to meet the needs of the labour market were some of the topics high on the agenda for the G20 Taskforce on Employment as they met for the second time this year in Paris.

Government representatives from each of the G20 member countries got together on 10 and 11 April to share ideas and best practice and discuss employment issues, with a particular focus on ways to prevent unemployment from becoming structural.

Following in-depth discussions about some of the issues being faced by countries across the globe, the taskforce put together a draft set of policy principles and recommendations on the topic to take forward to the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers when they meet in September.

Since the taskforce’s first meeting countries have started drafting country employment plans, which will outline actions they will take to address their individual circumstances. At the meeting in Paris, the delegates took the opportunity to discuss how these plans can contribute to the G20’s goal of lifting our collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years.

Over the course of the two days the taskforce heard from representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the World Association of Public Employment Services, who all lent their expertise to help set the scene and inform discussions.

They also worked with members of the G20’s five engagement groups and got an update on their progress and their priorities for the G20 in Australia’s presidency year.

The meeting followed two youth-focused events that the delegates took part in during the week: ‘Youth Guarantee—Making it Happen’ conference hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 8 April; and a conference on Quality Apprenticeships hosted by the OECD in Paris on 9 April. With the ILO reporting there are 74.5 million unemployed young people around the world, addressing youth unemployment is an important part of the work of the taskforce.

The taskforce will continue their work in the lead-up to the Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in September and will next meet from 22–24 July.