Innovative and inclusive regional development

The socio-economic consequences of rapid technological changes happening around the world are currently a focus of attention, not only from the perspective of diminishing jobs but also in terms of the content and significance of these jobs for individuals. This extends to the issue of how job opportunities and social participation are distributed throughout the job market in terms of educational background, region and ethnicity.

Such developments demand action. The opportunity gap for people with higher and lower education is threatening to widen, with a mismatch between demand and supply in the employment market in different regions. Collaboration and smart solutions are required. However, over the past few decades efforts have fallen short in developing and applying knowledge of what works and doesn’t work, and for whom. But now, at a time when the municipal authorities have been charged with the responsibilities for participation, youth policy and social support, opportunities exist to introduce innovations in the implementation: an effective and efficient but especially a learning organisation. In terms of participation, it is also essential for the municipal authorities, trainers and employers to work closely together and interact directly with the potential employees that are seeking work.

There are two, closely interwoven sides to implementing participation:
1) enhancing the implementation and supervision of people marginalised in the job market, and
2) facilitating employers to innovate for more jobs.

Supervising the job route

Implementation in practice is about putting into practice schemes to get as many people as possible into jobs. Schemes and regulations entail two aspects: on the one hand, to provide income (legitimacy) and, on the other hand, to supervising the job route (expediency). The development and application of knowledge concerning job route supervision has been left behind due to the focus on legitimacy. Furthermore, the knowledge that does exist is not being sufficiently utilised.

Great opportunities

It is precisely in developing knowledge for the professionals in the field where great opportunities lie for the municipal authorities in terms of both supervising job-seekers (expertise) and collaborating with employers on innovations for an inclusive society.

Co-innovating for more jobs

Little use has yet been made of a chain approach for employers with different drivers and possibilities in a specific region. Such a shared responsibility and approach create win-win situations for the different employers, the municipal authorities and, last but not least, job-seekers.

Collaborating with TNO

Together with our partners we try to develop and implement a mix of measures according to the evidence based practice, at implementation and management level, of the participating organisations (expertise of professionals, context and regulation). Key to this are sustainable engagement and efficient monitoring and feedback of the results (learning organisations). We support this process through various instruments and focus on a number of regions and regional networks, whereby TNO employees observe and collaborate directly with partners on the steps that have to be taken.

Prevention, Work & Health

Drs. Rob van der Maarel

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