The division Werkbedrijf, the Public Employment Service, is engaged in job placement and re-integration. Our aim is to help as many people as possible find work by bringing together supply and demand. We actively seek cooperation with labour market partners like municipalities, employers and temporary employment agencies. In doing so, Werkbedrijf focuses primarily on job seekers who are at a great distance from the labour market and employers who are willing to hire these job seekers.
UWV will continue to provide services to all job seekers. However, a number of things are going to change over the next few years. One of the key changes is the accelerated development of the online werk.nl service for job seekers. We are convinced that an online service will provide many benefits to clients. For example, people who have lost their job can apply for unemployment benefits from home. The development of a digital service delivery concept is a complex and long-term undertaking however, and is not expected to be completed before 2015.
Another key change is that UWV is going to consolidate the services it provides to job seekers and employers in 30 regional Work Centres (Werkpleinen). We will be withdrawing from the other Centres. This will be effected in careful consultation with the affected municipalities.
Service provision to job seekers
We are calling on Dutch citizens to assume their own responsibility and we are calling on their self-reliance; the services we will provide will increasingly be based on online self-service. All job seekers can make use of our online service via the internet site werk.nl. Registering and applying for benefits is done digitally. Clients create their CVs online and create a personal Work Folder. Using this Work Folder they can easily keep track of their applications. In addition, clients have access to thousands of job openings and can communicate online with a Labour Advisor. An evaluation interview will take place with the client after 3 months. We use this interview to determine the further services that are needed and to assess whether the client is making sufficient efforts to find work.
Because most people will only receive online support during the first 3 months of unemployment, we have the excess capacity needed to provide personal attention to people who are not able to cope without support. This involves people who must bridge a large gap in accessing the labour market, such as people with a labour incapacity, the 55+ job seekers and people who become eligible for unemployment (WW) benefits because they are not or no longer entitled to occupational disability benefits.
We also support people who do not (yet) know how to use digital services. Our Work Advisors organise workshops and on Tuesdays they organise walk-in afternoons at the Werkpleinen. Clients can go there for any questions they may have. This service was further expanded at the end of 2013. We have hired 130 trainees for a period of one year, who will go through all of the steps involved in the online service on werk.nl with a client, in front of a computer screen.
Service provision to employers
We provide employers support in finding qualified personnel. Together with municipalities, UWV is building a single public point of address for employers. Here employers can find a single desk for information, advice and specialist expertise. The personal service provision at the employer service points is focused on employers who have difficult-to-fill vacancies and/or are willing to create jobs in the region for people who are at a distance from the labour market. The employer service points also provide support to prevent unemployment in crisis situations.
We also offer the possibility of setting up an industry service point at one of the 30 regional Werkpleinen. For example, there are Service points for Technology, Care and Welfare, Defence and Professional Sport. We also give employers opportunities to find personnel outside of the Netherlands via EURES, the European network of employment mediators. Employers who want to hire workers from outside Europe (or from the new European member states) to work in the Netherlands must apply for a work permit via us.
Employers, employees and job seekers can turn to the employment lawyers at UWV for employment-law information and advice. These lawyers also test dismissal permit applications from employers against the legal regulations.
Labour market information
The more transparent the labour market, the easier it is for employers and employees to find each other. We investigate trends and developments on the labour market. We compile data on job seekers and employers per profession, sector and region. This makes it possible for us to offer insight into the dynamics and functioning of the labour market on a monthly basis. Each year UWV publishes national and regional labour market forecasts. These contain the outlook for demand and supply, employment and the job market. Our labour market information makes it possible to develop a national, regional and sector labour market policy, to encourage mobility across the borders of municipalities, sectors and regions and to use education in a way that is focused on the labour market. In this last effort we work together with educational institutions, the private-sector vocational training knowledge centres and SBB (Stichting Samenwerking Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven) - formerly Colo (the association of the eighteen private-sector vocational training knowledge centres).