Urgent need for policy makers to better adapt to changing labour markets
Geneva – A worldwide survey launched last week by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) reveals the urgent need for policy makers to adapt more effectively to the changing needs of global labour markets.
The IOE’s “Trends in the Workplace 2008” provides comparative data between countries and regions on current labour market issues and trends from an employers’ perspective. With this annual publication, the IOE aims to regularly inform policy makers on key labour issues and trends which are likely to impact the world economy.
This year the survey indicates an urgent need for national policy makers to adapt in a more effective and timely manner to changes in the global labour markets. Some of the more prominent factors impacting the labour markets include the following:
* More women and migrants are working than ever before;
* There is a growing demand from workers for more flexible working arrangements;
* Employers are anticipating major labour market implications as a result of demographic changes;
* Faster growing economies are not turning out enough skilled school-leavers and graduates – employers are not satisfied with the skills of new labour market entrants;
* Enterprises across all regions indicate a shortage in the types of skill that really fit their needs;
* ‘Doing’ business (i.e. carrying out standard business activities) still remains a challenge in far too many economies;
* A vast majority of governments are still not making cost/impact analyses of their labour and social legislation.
The key labour market challenges cited by employers for business in the next 3–5 years were remarkably similar across all regions. These can be summarized as follows:
• Making sure that the economy remains competitive and that enterprises are able to compete in global markets;
• Getting the balance right on labour legislation and ensuring maximum participation in the labour market;
• Ensuring that skills match the needs of the economy – now and in the future.