To continually improve its services and benefits, SECO TC works closely with its partners abroad and in international organisations. The goal of this cooperation is to recognise international trends and potential for innovation in the fields of unemployment insurance and public employment services and to exchange experience in a way that brings the greatest benefits for Switzerland.
SECO TC has a seat on the OECD’s ELS and LEED Committees.
The Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) leads the OECD’s work on employment, social policies, international migration and health. Member states meet twice a year to discuss current trends, studies and proposed policy innovations. Member states provide the OECD with data on thematic surveys and can initiate project-based collaboration with the OECD on specific topics.
The Local Employment and Economic Development Programme (LEED) addresses labour market issues and focuses on local and regional initiatives. The LEED Committee’s studies and projects look at the creation of better-quality jobs and the implementation of policy innovations – for example through cooperation of different actors at regional level.
A key source of innovation in the area of public employment services is the European network of Public Employment Services or PES network.
The PES network seeks to strengthen and promote collaboration between public employment services. It aims to enhance the efficiency of national public employment agencies so they are able to deliver high-quality services.
To achieve these goals, the PES network applies the mutual learning method known as benchlearning. It also shares information and ideas, in particular on best practices. Finally, the network implements its own initiatives, for example as part of projects to combat unemployment and to support lifelong learning.
SECO TC seeks formal membership or association in the PES network. It already actively incorporates the network’s documentation and information databases, as well as existing contacts within the network for the purpose of modernising public employment services.
The World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) is a platform for exchange of information and knowledge between member countries and a global speaking partner in the field of employment and labour market issues. It brings together 80 public employment services and over 1 million staff working in the field from all over the world.
WAPES adds values in the areas of employment, migration and education by setting up reference markers within and between world regions. A central pillar of the intergovernmental cooperation at WAPES are the regional events, which are held annually on current issues in the remits of the public employment services in the five WAPES regions (Africa, Americas, Asia & Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Arab Countries).
Switzerland traditionally plays an active role in international organisations. As WAPES treasurer, Oliver Schärli from SECO TC performs an important administrative function within the organisation. Through this role, SECO TC influences the thematic focus of the organisation’s activities and actively pursues the interests of Swiss unemployment insurance and public employment services in this area.
The German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) is an important contact partner for SECO TC. For example, the SECO TC shares information and experience with the BA as part of the implementation of various modernisation projects, and collaborates with it on current issues. An example of this collaboration is the ‘D-A-CH’ meetings of German, Swiss and Austrian unemployment insurance offices and public employment services.
SECO TC also collaborates with the BA’s Institute for Employment Research (IAB). The Institute conducts research on the labour market and advises political actors at all levels. SECO TC is currently working with the IAB on the implementation of a new leading indicator on the short-term development of registered unemployment and employment.
Finally, SECO TC works with the Federal Employment Agency’s University of Applied Labour Studies (UALS): for example, there is an exchange programme for interns between SECO TC and the UALS.
Do you work at a cantonal unemployment insurance office or public employment service and have questions on the international dimension in these areas? Or would you like to submit proposals or suggestions? Or perhaps you are interested in the exchange programme for interns in Germany (see Federal Employment Agency)?
If so, please email us at: