OECD Employment and Labour Ministerial and Forum

Message from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from the United Kingdom  

Dear fellow Ministers, 

As a global community, it is important we come together to share the learning and lessons from Covid to help tackle future pandemics and secure our respective economic recoveries. This includes supporting people safely back into good-quality, sustainable jobs. Here in the UK, as our vaccine rollout continues to protect and give confidence to millions, a range of targeted employment support programmes – our Plan for Jobs – are boosting job creation and supercharging people’s skills to help them into growing sectors of the future where they can grow their incomes. 

During the year of the UK’s Presidency of the G7, I am delighted to be chairing the Labour Ministerial on 15 December at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris. This will be an opportunity to discuss the impact of the pandemic on labour markets; how jobs and livelihoods have been protected during the crisis; and emerging from the pandemic, how we can build more productive, inclusive, resilient and greener labour markets. I look forward to working with you on this important shared agenda and seize the opportunity to build back better from the pandemic in a way that benefits all and delivers jobs, prosperity and wellbeing for all our citizens. See you in Paris if not before.

The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey Chair of the OECD Labour Ministerial Meeting 2021

Context of the Meeting

The COVID 19 pandemic sparked a global health crisis without parallel in living memory. With vaccination rates speeding up in many countries, the future is starting to look brighter, but more for some and less for others. The economic and jobs crisis it unleashed is far from over. To draw lessons from this crisis and identify paths to rebuild better labour markets, Ministers from over 40 countries will gather for the OECD Employment and Labour Ministerial Meeting on 15 December 2021, at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France. The Ministerial Meeting will take place under the chairmanship of the United Kingdom, with Australia, Belgium, Estonia, Mexico and Spain as Vice-Chairs. Ministers will discuss issues that are high up on the policy agenda of all OECD countries, under the overarching theme “Moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis to a better labour market that works for all”. The Ministerial meeting will provide an opportunity to come together at a critical time to consolidate the economic and labour market recovery in light of ongoing changes in the world of work. It will provide an opportunity to discuss how governments can seize the opportunity to build back better after the global pandemic in a way that benefits all and delivers jobs, prosperity and well-being. The meeting will also serve to identify priority topics for future OECD work in the area of employment and labour market policies.
The morning session of the Ministerial will focus on how governments can “maximise resilience and learn from effective policies to cushion future economic slowdowns”. It will give Ministers the opportunity to discuss the unprecedented measures they have taken to cushion the impact of the crisis, and to share experiences about how to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of these measures, which is crucial to identify lessons for future shocks and economic slowdowns. Over lunch, Ministers will discuss how to use the opportunity of the recovery to face the challenges and seize the opportunities related to the necessity to transition to a low-carbon economy. The afternoon will be divided into five parallel breakout sessions: 
(1) Seizing the opportunity to rebuild better - creating more high-quality and sustainable jobs; 
(2) Transitioning to a new world of work -– equipping individuals for a post-crisis labour market; 
(3) Fostering inclusiveness in an uncertain world – reversing increasing inequalities; 
(4) Fostering inclusiveness in the recovery – supporting young people; and 
(5) Getting the most out of the digital transformation.
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