The LAPIN project resulted into the development of an information system for aiding the European labour policy makers. It is basically an Internet software application that borrows data from databases. More specifically, the system includes an information base, a knowledge base and a networked forum for providing useful services to its users. The information base includes: the requirements of European companies on professional and training needs; and the policies and successful actions taken in job promotion and training by decision-makers in the labour market. For gathering this information, the project applied the same data collection methodology with common classification criteria for various European regions. The mapping the existing situation across local areas and regions, the users will be able to specify new initiatives for improving the labour market. Based on the common information profile, the knowledge base integrates the information for the regulating authorities on labour markets. It comprises: case studies for benchmarking the best practices; internet resources with detailed information on the available services and policies; contact cards for accessing key people or organisations in Europe; and useful links for supplying further information. The networked forum allows users to create new and/or participate in existing discussion topics. These topics are organised into categories reflecting the main concerns of the European labour policy activities. In this way, the system offers the appropriate environment for resolving difficult labour problems or tailoring training to meet the needs of business. The LAPIN system is user-friendly allowing users to use simple queries on retrieving quantitative and qualitative information. This integration of information can be applied for many purposes, such as: data mining on labour (employees recruiting/hiring trends) over single sector or large business markets; or for establishing a co-operation network for labour policies makers. Most importantly, the LAPIN system will significantly help authorities and various others involved in the labour market and training fields. Essentially, it is a system that focuses on the development of more effective labour policies. Such policies will help foster a positive relationship between employers and employees and a climate for new economic growth, opportunities and jobs in Europe.
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