We are now at a pivotal moment to ensure that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are realized. The need for a labor market that is fit-for-purpose and future-proof is stronger than ever as the pandemic accelerated labor market challenges such as increased digitalization, new forms of work, demographic change, talent shortages, and job polarization. The second Sustainability@Work report by Randstad shows how cooperation and partnerships – between governments, employers, labor organizations, and workers – need to play a key part in creating a labor market that is accessible for all.

“Urgent and swift action is required to ensure that the global and national active labor market policies remain focused on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals related to the labor market. Our Sustainability@Work report shines a light on the importance of private-public partnerships to achieve these goals, as all partners have an active part to play in contributing to a work of work that is truly sustainable and in which no one is left behind.” —Jacques van den Broek, CEO and Chair of the Executive Board, Randstad

Growing employer-employee mismatch and a widening global skills gap highlight the importance of stronger collaboration among stakeholders. Our program in the Netherlands – Baanbrekend – is an exciting example of how a public-private partnership can support those currently struggling to access the labor market. For example:

  • The chances of being employed is estimated to be four times higher when someone is supported by a program such as Baanbrekend.

  • There is a direct monetary benefit over the three subsequent years after successful placement.

  • It is estimated that the government savings on welfare benefits could total almost € 20 million euros.

  • The partnership would also contribute nearly € 7 million to economic growth in the Netherlands from a well-functioning labor market.

This program is just one of our over 70 social innovation programs across the globe and, if scaled, has huge potential to act as a blueprint for creating a financial and societal impact while creating a more sustainable labor market.

The biggest challenge is ensuring that all partners take responsibility for their piece of the puzzle:

  • governments need to set the scene by providing policies and instruments as well as basics such as a regulatory framework that ensures decent work for all.

  • employers should foster all talent and reduce barriers to entry to the job market.

  • workers should be more aware that they need to invest in reskilling and upskilling, especially digital skills – only then will they be able to navigate the fast-changing labor market.

In the next decade, we all have a key role to play in reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Greater responsibility and cooperation among all stakeholders are needed to address the immediate and longer-term needs of job seekers and employers and create a labor market that is accessible for all. As shown by the Baanbrekend program, the positive impacts of partnerships are significant and should be a key focus for all in the immediate future.

You can read more detailed insights in the full report which can be downloaded from: https://workforceinsights.randstad.com/hr-research-reports-sustainabilitywork-2021