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Disruptive Technologies Supporting Labour Market Decision Making

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Digital platform to connect the right jobs to the right people

Online platform provides valuable information about the labour market and help EU citizens make more informed career and job search choices.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy
Society icon Society

Advances in European labour market data mean that it is now possible to return data to citizens in useful ways. Using such data enables jobseekers to better reflect on career prospects based on their skills. This will build stronger relationships between them and public employment services (PES). “At one stage or another, almost half of all EU citizens will rely on PES, so they are a key touchpoint of present-day Member States and influence citizens’ thinking about social cohesion, care and existential wellbeing,” explains Ray Griffin, the project’s principal investigator and senior lecturer in Management and Organisation at South East Technological University in Ireland.

Disruptive technology in public services

The EU-funded HECAT project has developed a digital tool offering helpful labour market data analytics to the front line of PES and to all citizens so that they can make more knowledgeable decisions about quality and sustainable career choices, as well as job search, training and education. The labour market analytics allow individuals to observe, for their own region, the demand and supply of labour, average incomes, and the stability, liquidity and volatility of occupations. The tool also has two novel job and career search tools. One links skills to occupations so that individuals can broaden their job search, and the other links the job qualities people value to opportunities. As a result, people can balance their desire for work, with realistic and feasible opportunities that best align with their location, skills, occupation and personal goals. The online tool encourages citizens to interact with job quality data and their skills profile, thus expanding their personal job search outlook. “We aspire to move beyond job-first approaches to high quality, sustainable work for unemployed people,” states Griffin.

Strengthening labour market transparency throughout Europe

HECAT has been working with the Employment Service of Slovenia and its clients. The tool was first built on Slovenian labour market data and tested in two pilot sessions with key Slovenian market stakeholders, unemployed people, caseworkers and PES leadership. Engaging with other regions, including Denmark, Ireland and France, revealed the tool’s potential for a more extensive roll-out. The consortium also set out to improve profiling and job matching algorithms currently used by PES, incorporating the probability of existing unemployment using both AI and modelled analysis. All users, with particular emphasis on the jobless, were then part of multiple co development and piloting cycles. “Unlike many expert algorithms that do not do this type of co development and fieldwork, ours was built with the unemployed in mind,” comments Griffin. “We are working with unemployed people, rather than on them, which has often been the case for many algorithms.” The project team developed an approach to using algorithms embedded in casework dialogues around feasible work, skills, as well as job qualities, expectations and desires. It worked on methods of presenting complex labour market data to citizens, particularly insight into their probability for unemployment. Traditionally, this form of data, if utilised by PES, was used in the back office to make decisions about unemployed people. These citizens were then subject to the outcome with little understanding of how such decisions were formed. Project partners are busy disseminating and showcasing the tool and its concept to PES and the broader labour market ecosystem. They identified a way to develop the innovation for all 27 EU Member States.

Helping EU citizens get the right skills for quality jobs

The tool directly responds to EU policy ambitions in tackling unemployment, underemployment and skills gaps. “HECAT is playing a major role in two important initiatives that will make access to the European labour market fairer, more inclusive, and a place where opportunities are more visible,” concludes Griffin. “It contributes to realising the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan goals of supporting labour market participation, training participation and reducing poverty and social exclusion, as well as to the European Year of Skills ambitions of addressing skills mismatches and gaps through better labour market signalling.”


HECAT, labour market, job, PES, unemployed, career, job search, unemployment, employment, online tool, public employment service

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