The Role of Active Labour Market Programmes in Employment Policy
The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the Irish labour market since approximately 1980 with a particular focus on the central role of active labour market programmes in public policy. Active labour market programmes (ALMP) is an umbrella term for all measures aimed at increasing either the supply of or demand for labour. We will outline the theoretical rationale for labour market programmes and discuss their implementation and development in the Irish context. Specifically we will outline the levels of expenditure and throughput on labour market programmes and attempt to place Ireland in a comparative international perspective. Briefly we will examine some of the attempts which have been made to evaluate the effectiveness of labour market programmes in terms of the employment and income outcomes of participants. We will pay particular attention to long-term unemployment which was such a key feature of the Irish labour market throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
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