Points of Comparison between Australia’s Job Network and the Dutch Market for Reintegration Services
The Netherlands is the only country other than Australia where publicly-financed employment services for disadvantaged jobseekers are now primarily executed by contracted providers operating in a quasi-competitive market. Focusing on Dutch employment services for unemployment insurance (UI) beneficiaries and Australian arrangements for the second and third Job Network contract periods, this article compares the history of quasi-competitive provision, the bodies that purchase employment services, tendering procedures, jobseeker target groups, the duration of contracts, market entry and exit, and market structures. Ongoing management of contracts, links with other government programmes, outcome and other fees paid to providers, performance measurement and general system evaluation are also considered. The potential for different arrangements to improve labour market outcomes is discussed in terms of three main criteria: do the arrangements allow market forces to determine the amount and type of services that are delivered to jobseekers? are the incentives under which providers operate such as to favour socially optimal outcomes? is the quasi-market jobseeker counselling function linked with unemployment benefits and labour market programmes well enough to allow coordination and a substantial impact from the market-driven elements?
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Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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