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[Ministerial and Other  Meetings]

Kobe Jobs Conference

Chair's Conclusion

Kobe, Japan, 28th-29th November, 1997

Chairman's Conclusion ANNEX 1. Follow-up Activities

Individual Action Plans

Following the enlightening discussion at Kobe, G8 countries, now having a better recognition on the challenges they face, presented the attached individual action plans,which identify each country's policy priorities to attain the main objectives of the conference: "Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Changes" and "Realization of an Active Working Society." Each G8 country affirmed its resolve to implement these action plans immediately.

[In this document:]

Canada's Jobs Strategy

France's Individual Action Plan

Action Plan of the Federal Republic of Germany

Italy's Individual Action Plan

Japan's Individual Action Plan

Individual Action Plan for the Russian Federation

Summary of the Employment Action Plan of the United Kingdom

An Overview of U.S. Policies of Relevance to Kobe Conference Themes

Action Plan of the European Union

November 28th-29th, 1997

Canada's Jobs Strategy

Taking a framework approach

Since 1993, the Government of Canada has embarked on a concerned efforts to strengthen the economy and stimulate job creation. The Government of Canada has determined that in a more competitive, global economy, marked by rapid technological change, the best approach in building a stronger economy is to ensure that the optimal conditions for job creation are established and that the human resource policies needed to equip people to take advantage of those job opportunities are in place.

Canada does not believe that the marketplace alone can address all the that ledges we face. Government leadership in key areas can make a definitive difference, particularly in areas of macroeconomic policy, modernizing governance, human capital investment, the chronology development and promoting trade expansion.

Creating the right climate for economic growth and job creation

Canada's first priority has been to restore the nation's fiscal health: to cut government spending and put public finances in order. In terms of public-sector deficits, Canada now enjoys the best fiscal health of any G-7 country. In 1996-97, our financial requirements were eliminated and we recorded a financial surpass, the only G-7 country to do so.

By no later than the 1998-99 fiscal year, Canada's federal government budget will be balanced for the first time in nearly 30 years. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the nation's debt-to GDP ratio remains on a permanent downward track. These fiscal policies have kept inflation low and delivered the lowest sustained interest rates in Canada in decades, making capital more accessible to business and encouraging consumer spending. Two years ago our interest rates were more than 2 percentage points lower than our American neighbors'.

Modernizing governance

While pursuing more prudent fiscal policies, the government has initiated a range of reforms, guided by the need to modernize the role of government itself. Through a comprehensive program review, the Government of Canada has identified which of its programs and services are no longer needed or can more effectively be delivered by other levels of government of the private/voluntary sector.

New policies have been developed to reduce overlap and duplication and promote alternative service delivery, guided by the principle that in many instances, the same or better service can be delivered at less cost through more flexible delivery arrangements. For example, we have ended many transportation subsidies, privatized our air navigation system and put our airports under the management control of local authorities. We are also consolidating our food inspection function, integrating all federally-mandated food inspection, animal and plant health services into a single federal food inspection agency, to effectiveness of food inspection in Canada.

Likewise, the government has adopted policies to encourage more cost-effective governance, including the Efficiency of the Federation initiative to harmonize procedures and regulations between levels of government, reduce the paper burden on business, cut red tape and modernize regulations to promote jobs and growth.

The Government of Canada recognizes that burden some government regulations hamper innovation and are major impediments to competitiveness. The government has begun a major effort to shift its regulatory approach towards compliance with regulatory objectives rather than technical requirements.

Canada's ongoing regulatory review process is aimed at ensuring that industry can take full advantage of continuing improvements to national and international industry standards without jeopardizing the protection of the public. Again, performance-based regulation reflects the principle that it is not the government's job to intervene and dictate how business should function, but rather, to set the objectives and ensure that the right conditions are in place so that business can prosper.

In 1994, the first Agrement on Internal Trade was concluded among the govenment of canada's provinces and territories. This agreement, which proceeds a framework for further liberalization, reduced or eliminated many barriers to the movement of products and labor within the Conroe. It also set the stage for the streamlining and harmonization of domestic standards and regulations to help reduce the cost of doing business in Canada.

Canada's Jobs Strategy: Responding to public priorities and reflecting public values

Canadians have consistently placed employment at the top of their list of priorities.Canadians view government as largely responsible for initiating action to get public spending under control and to modernize governance to create a limit conducive to employment growth. However, where more proactive policies aimed at reducing unemployment are concerned, Canadian want their governments t adopt a partnership approach. They expect that all players --government, employers and individuals -- share in the irresponsibility of working together to solve the unemployment problem and ensure that Canada adapts to economic change which preserving our quality of life.

As a result, Canada's specific initiatives t promote job creation reflect this thick of partnership. Under three brad headings -Youth, Trade and Technology, new voluntary sectors to stimulate job creation and improve access to employment opportunities.

Promoting access to opportunity

The Government of Canada is focusing its efforts for youth on the school-to-work transition and youth at risk. Beginning in 1994, new work experience and internship programs have been introduced to help more young Canadians acquire the experience they need to become employable. Sponsored by community groups, employers and private sector organizations, these initiatives have helped more than 300,00 young people, the majority of whom have either found employment, created their own jobs or returned to school for more education.

Recognizing that the percentage of young people without any work experience has more than doubled over the past several years, the government has increased funding for summer job programs, helping some 63,000 students a year receive work experience with employers, the majority of whom would not hire without a financial incentive.

Labor market demand in Canada increasingly favors those with higher skills. As a consequence, the government has taken action to make post-secondary education more affordable through changes to its student loans program, including increasing loan limits and providing interest relief measures; increasing tax credits for tuition and education; increasing the contribution limits to tax sheltered education savings loans; and pursuing new scholarships to encourage excellence and to help to- and moderate-income Canadians attend university or college.

Policies to ensure that Canadians of all ages are better-equipped for a modern, evolving labor market are a major priority of Canada's Jobs Strategy. The Government of Canada has put in place a broad strategic framework for delivery of training based on partnerships, recognizing that decisions are best made at a more local level. we have therefore offered to the provinces the opportunity to take on responsibility for delivering labour market training programs. The federal government has now successful negotiated Labor Market Development Agreements (SMDAs) with most provinces.

At the same time, the Government of Canada is playing a significant and growing role in the provision of labor market information to augment the capacity of Canadians to make sound career choices for themselves. We are taking steps t improve the quality of national labour market and career information available to Canadians, and in the process utilizing new information technologies to make this information more timely and more widely accessible. Of the various types of information government can proceed using the Internet, the Canadian public's strongest preference is for information on the labour market, and job and business opportunities.

Finally, the Government of Canada has also introduced the new Employment Insurance (EI) program, which unlike its predecessor, is a more flexible income support program that better reflects Canada's modern job market. For example, EI is based on hours worked so that all part-time work has become insurable. The new program contains a range of provisions, including active labour market measure, intended to encourage workforce integration.

Promoting R&D, technology diffusion and innovation

Canada must continue to be a leader in the global, knowledge-based economy. This means promoting innovation and the diffusion of new processes and technologies to strengthen productivity and the competitiveness of our goods and services. The government currently provides direct technical advice to over 10,000 small and medium-sized companies annually to help them exploit new technologies.

For several years, the government has bee making strategic investments in sectors of the economy with the greatest growth and jobs potential; technology-driven sectors such as aerospace, biotechnology and environmental technology. Through Technology Partnerships Canada, $250 million per year is being invested in technology development projects on a risk-sharing, revenue-sharing basis with private sector partners.

The Government of Canada invests $1.3 billion annually in its Scientific Research and Experimental development Investment tax credit, making Canada's one of the world's most favorable tax regimes for private sector R&D. In addition, this year the Government of Canada created the Canada Foundation for Innovation. With an investment of $800 million, the Government of Canada aims to leverage a total of $2 billion through partnerships with the private sector as well as other levels of government and research institutions, to strengthen and upgrade research infrastructure in Canadian universities and hospitals.

The Government of Canada invests approximately $5 billion on its own science and technology-related activities. Increasingly, many of these programs are being run in co-operation with the private sector, as the government seeks to stimulate job growth by using partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of its own research results.

Finally, the government is stepping up its efforts to make the information and knowledge infrastructure, a mainstay of R&D and an increasingly important feature in the modern workplace, more accessible to all Canadians. Federal government support is provided to put Internet sites in public schools and community centers and to increase the amount of material on the Internet in French, one of Canada's two official languages.

By the year 2000, Canada intends to ensure that all its citizens have access to the information highway. Canada believes that policies such as these are important investments in our future that will strengthen our society and make us more competitive over the longer-term. Already, a recent Canadian survey shows that more than half of all Canadian adults have a computer at home, and fully a quarter of Canadian adults use the Internet on a regular basis, again, the majority at home.

Promoting trade expansion

Canada is one of the world's mots successful trading nations. International trade in goods and services (exports + imports/GDP) represents almost 74% of the economic output of Canada, more than in any other G-7 country. Our future employment prospects depend heavily on our ability to continue to attract foreign investment and expand our exports. Pursuing and enhancing an open, rules-based international trading system is essential for promoting the prosperity and employment of Canadians.

Trade development-that is, enhancing our attractiveness to investors and stimulating export growth- is a major priority of Canada 's Job Strategy. Since 1994, the Government of Canada has organized annual Team Canada Trade Missions involving provincial and municipal governments and the private sector. These missions have helped raise Canada's trading profile and delivered more than $22 billion in business contracts and memoranda-of understanding for Canadian companies. Every $1 billion in new exports is estimated to create or sustain 11,000 jobs in Canada.

In tandem with efforts to promote Canadian business abroad, the Government of Canada has developed a wide range of programs and services to help more Canadian companies become export-ready and enter new markets. A strong focus has been ;placed on helping small and medium-sized enterprise, as less than 10% currently take advantage of export opportunities. In partnership with private sector groups and businesses, the government has invested in a more sophisticated trade training infrastructure; market information and intelligence gathering and distribution networks; and improved access to load and risk-management services for small businesses seeking to enter higher-risk, emerging markets.

Canada continues to be a champion of trade liberalization. Since 1993, we have strengthened NAFTA through side agreements o labour and the environment; participated in the successful conclusion of multilateral trade negotiations leading to the creation of the WTO, and we have signed free trade agreements with Israel and Chile. Canada continues to pursue customs tariff reductions, worth $600 million in 1996. In addition, a major thrust of initiatives under the Canada-DU Action Plan. We are actively working for expanded market access based on clear and equitable rules at the WTO and through negotiations to expand WTO membership.

Realizing the benefits

Canada's unemployment rate has dropped from over 11% in 1993 to approximately 9% today. Close to 1,000,000 net new jobs have been created over this period, all in the private sector and most, full-time.

As the economy has steadily improved, more Canadians have re-entered the job market, tending to push up the official unemployment rate. However, forecasters now expect continued strong job growth and falling unemployment through 1998. According to the OECD and the IMF, over the rest of 1997 and 1998, Canada will verge the fastest job growth in the G-7.

Strengthening our future

As the capacity to innovate -- to develop and exploit new technologies and new processed -- becomes an ever more important determinant of success in an increasingly interconnected global economy, Canada recognized that investment in human capital is crucial. As a consequence, additional emphasis will be placed on policies to enhance Canada's health care system; improve access to education, training and work experience for youth; promote life-long learning; and, address the needs of low-income families with children. On the latter issue the Government of Canada has recently introduced a new National Child Benefit in partnership with provincial governments which, when it take effect in July, 1997, will improve benefits and services available to low-income families with children to help them lease social assistance and return to or remain in the labour market by ensuring their children's needs are met.

Over the coming year, increasingly targeted efforts will be undertaken to build Canada's knowledge base, including efforts t promote the creation and sharing of knowledge; to accelerate the optional and commercialization of new technologies on a spectral basis; to develop export acumen in more Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, and to further foster the ethic of partnership between governments and the private and voluntary sectors of Canadian society.

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November 28th-29th, 1997

France's Individual Action Plan

Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Changes

France intends to create a favourable climate for economic development and employment so as to reap the full benefits of globalisation and technological progress. The main thrusts of its policy are as follow:

Creation of a favourable economic environment through:

In accordance with the guidelines agreed at the Luxembourg Extraordinary Council, Adapting the labour market to structural changes with a particular view to stimulating employment for the least skilled workers;

Promotion of Young People Who Shoulder Responsibility for the Future

The Government is well aware of the special problems raised by the integration of young people into the labour market and has undertaken firm steps in several areas to promote this integration. It has decided to increase its efforts in favour of apprenticeships and combined school and workplace training programmes that give young people the dual advantage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Furthermore, the Government intends to conduct an active policy aimed particularly at young people. As agreed at the Luxembourg Extraordinary European Council, each young unemployed person under the age of 25 will be offered a 'fresh start' in the form of a job, training, retraining or other employability measure. To this end, the Government plans to help create jobs that will give 350,000 young people their first job experience. These jobs will be created progressively to meet needs that the market and the public sector are not yet able to fill in areas such as education, security, assistance for the handicapped and social integration activities in deprived neighbourhoods. In addition, the Government will encourage jobs creation for young people in the market sector through bargaining with the social partners.

Promotion of Human Resource Development to Empower Workers to Sustain Economic Activities

France has developed an ambitious policy to introduce new technologies to its schools and enhance the resources allocated to higher education so as to improve the country's performance in general educational qualifications. France also intends to improve and consolidate its continuing education schemes on the basis of existing legal requirements. The goal is to increase the proportion of workers receiving such training over five years. Universities will have a major role to play in promoting continuing education by promoting the 'to and fro' of employees between businesses and higher education.

Realisation of Active Ageing

France intends to promote jobs for its oldest workers by the gradual introduction life-long training schemes. Progressive early-retirement systems are being developed to ease the transition from work to retirement. The Government is well aware of the necessity to raise the participation rate of the older workers. To this end,it has decided to limit early retirement schemes.

France has implemented reforms of its standard and supplementary retirement pensions to raise the effective retirement age by a progressive increase in the number of years of service required to obtain a full pension. However, in the interest of fairness, people who started work at a very early age will be allowed to retire after forty years of service, even if they have not reached the legal retirement age.

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Action Plan of the Federal Republic of Germany

I. Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Changes

In order to create new competitive jobs and to strengthen the adaptability of the German economy, in early 1996 the Federal Government adopted an Action Programme entitled Reforms for Investment and Jobs setting out the supply-policy strategy it is currently implementing and refining. The purpose of this strategy is

The announced measures have generally been implemented by now and have resulted in a clear improvement of economic framework conditions in Germany. Special mention should be made of abolished taxes on net assets and on business capital,accelerated planning and licensing procedures, changes to the legislation on protection from redundancy and increased opportunities for temporary employment contracts, changes in sick pay provisions, continuing privatisation of Federal Government-owned assets and participations in business and liberalisation of the telecommunications markets.

The Employment Promotion Reform Act has strengthened decentralised labour-administration responsibilities, made it more difficult for people to reject jobs offered to them, facilitated reintegration especially of the long-term unemployed into to the first labour market and made it easier to adjust unemployment relief payments to differences in working hour systems, inter alia.

Important new measures and regulatory changes will still be implemented, mainly later this year and in the course of next year;

II. Promotion of Employment of Young People who Shoulder Responsibility for the Future

Thorough vocational training is basic to preparing young people for holding their own on the labour market. In Germany, about 70% of young people receives initial vocational training through the dual system comprising on-the-job training and vocational-school instruction which the Federal Government will retain for being a valuable and effective concept, because;

Against the background of continuing technological, economic and social change, it is necessary to currently modernise the dual vocational training system. The Federal Government has taken the necessary steps to this end by adopting a project on "Reform of Vocational Training - Responsive Structures and Modern Occupations". Important points of reference of this reform project are adaptable training regulations in a changing working world, currently updated occupational profiles including a speedy adaptation of existing ones to the labour market requirements of the future and improved framework conditions for vocational training as a result of deregulation.

Within the framework of their responsibilities, labour and management have developed a number of integrative mechanisms designed to make it easier for young persons to make a start on the labour market.

Provisions supporting vocational training of young people are included in the Employment Promotion Act. Special attention is paid to those young persons who have not been able to begin or to complete vocational training.

Reform of university education is expected to set additional stimuli to foster the education of young graduates. The aim is to force competition among German universities and to prepare them for the 21st century by stressing performance and shortening the length of university study.

III. Promotion of Human Resource Development to Empower Workers to Sustain Economic Activities

Human resources are developed by modern and future-oriented training within the education system and by ongoing life-long vocational training at work. The Federal Government is working to ensure, that the policy on further education remains committed to the principles of individual responsibility, self-organisation and decentralised guidance of the further education market and to the principle of subsidiarity. This means that companies and employees bear responsibility for adapting their qualifications to the requirements of structural and technological change,in the first place. Companies are called upon to pay increased attention to unskilled and underqualified labour within the framework of the further education programmes they offer. Labour-market policies in this field can only be subsidiary in nature in support of the unemployed, people threatened by unemployment and the unskilled.

IV. Realisation of Active Ageing

Due to demographic developments policy-makers, business and trade-union leaders must take measures necessary for allowing the wealth of elderly workers' experience and vocational know-how to be used for longer periods than is the case at present. Therefore Federal Government has;

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Italy's Individual Action Plan

1. Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Changes

The general labour policy of Italy has been inspired in recent years by the practice of "social concertation", that is by large-scale agreements made between the Government, the employers associations and the trade unions. In this respect the main policy line has been to put into full operation the provisions of the "trilateral" agreement of 23 July 1993, regarding vocational training, human capital,research and development, and "regulated flexibility in employment relations". The new Pact for Employment (24 September 1996) moves further in this direction. The main labour policy initiatives of recent years have been in three areas:

More recently, in accordance with the agreements reached by the EU Member States, Italy has prepared a Multiannual Programme for Employment based on the following objectives:

Moreover, the Italian Government has made a number of achievements which may be summed up as following:

  1. to promote the enlargement of the productive base and support new enterprise formation and employment in small firms , with incentives to small and tiny businesses that are formed or that increase their workforce, with a view to closer integration with large firms;
  2. to reform the public employment service through decentralisation, liberalization and a lighter State presence, making the most of the role of private parties;
  3. to revise, through "social concertation" both social shock absorbers and employment incentives to achieve greater certainly and less administrative discretionality;
  4. to plan socially useful projects in conformity with the principle of mutual solidarity.
    In this regards the Government plans to promote the growth of the non-profit sector,which achieves solidarity in decentralised and generally efficient fashion and which can be expected to play a major role in providing services and creating jobs;
  5. to devise, in agreement with the social partners, a set of measures for regulated flexibility on both the demand and supply sides of the labour market;
  6. to draft a plan for part-time hiring of young people by Government departments;
  7. to foster initial and continuing training programmes, both in and out of the school system, both in-service and for unemployed , to improve and update human capital;
  8. to ease the tax and contribution burden on the cost of labour by shifting part of it (health service contributions, for instance) from payroll taxes to general taxation;
  9. to promote and provide incentives for self-employment and enterprise creation by young people, with support to the law on youth entrepreneurship and loans for young people, including student loans as well as business start-up loans.

2. Promotion of Employment of Young People who Shoulder Responsibilities for the Future.

Recent legislation covering active labour policy has redefined income support provisions and, at the same time, continued to increase labour market flexibility by re-regulating and extending the range of programmes designed specifically for bringing young people into the job market.

The goal of expanding the employment base has been pursued not only via flexibility but also through incentives to business and to foster initiatives at the local level. The flexibility measures considered here include traineeship contracts and other special projects to promote employment (such as incentives to make part-time contracts in the Southern, Italy fiscal exemptions to set up new businesses, government-supported "work fellowships" to stimulate work experience of young people).

Of all active labour policies, training programmes are considered the most effective tool for improving the functioning of the labour market. In a highly fragmented market like the Italian, training must be directed specially to young people.Recent legislation has introduced provisions for training and guidance stages for young people within companies.

The purpose of training and guidance stages is to facilitate occupational choice by furthering young people's knowledge of the productive system. The formula, which calls for "practical training and experience", is designed to provide initial access to the world of work for young people who have completed their schooling. The programmes can be planned by universities, school districts, public schools, training and guidance centres, employment agencies and the local offices of the Ministry of Labour. They are carried out through conventions between the planners and the firms that host the young people for a specified period of time.

3. Promotion of Human Resource Development to Empower Workers to Sustain Economic Activities. Income support programmes.

Commonly known as "social shock absorbers", passive labour policies aim exclusively or predominantly to provide income support to individual workers who have lost or are losing their jobs.
Italy's procedures for managing redundancies are highly diversified in form and character. The Government is now working on a plan to reorder programmes in this area, precisely in order to eliminate these great disparities of treatment. The need for a univocal system of income protection is increasingly pressing because for one thing, the budget costs of some programmes (such as early retirement) are excessive, while the benefits of others (unemployment benefits) are utterly inadequate.

The main income support programmes are the following;

  1. Short-time earning compensation (Casse Integrazione Guadagni, CIG) is the programme most commonly used by firms to cope with difficulties in an industry, an area or a market.
  2. The mobility allowance (introduced by the low n.223/1991) constitutes together with short-time compensations one of Italy's most widely used social shock-absorbers. This programme is designed for workers who are temporary removed from production.
  3. Solidarity contracts (Created by the low n. 863/1994), is a job-sharing programme designed to counter redundancies. The mechanism provides for a company agreement to reduce working hours (on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis) with a wage supplement to workers for the hours lost.
  4. Regular unemployment benefits. Eligibility for these benefits is open to the involuntarily unemployed, whose employment relationships have been terminated or suspended.

4. Realization of Active Ageing

Population ageing will increase government spending, reduce revenues and increase government dissaving - and may also reduce national saving. Action is needed. Locking in an increasing proportion of national health to support increasing amounts of time in leisure near the end of life is simply bad social and economic policy.Failure to make needed changes, whatever the preferred path, will greatly restrict the freedom of coming generations to make their own decision on how to spend national resources.

Recently, the low No. 196/1997 has laid down new measures to promote the realization of active ageing, such as incentives for part-time employment contracts. It should be outlined also the important role of no-profit activities.

In both the health and social security sectors, there has been a strong tendency to develop additional voluntary forms of assistance.

In the field of pensions, Italy has moved toward a creation of private funds. Mutual fund management companies, like banks, securities firms and insurance companies will be allowed to stipulate agreements in order to manage pension fund assets.

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Japan's Individual Action Plan

Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Changes

In order to maintain economic vitality and quality jobs in the face of intensifying global competition and the trend toward an ageing society, the Government of Japan will continue to implement the "Action Plan for Economic Structural Reform" adopted on 16 May 1997. The Action Plan aims (i) to facilitate the creation of new businesses; (ii) to foster a business environment that is attractive to Japanese as well as foreign companies; and (iii) to prevent the increasing public burden from undermining economic growth. Furthermore, Japan plans to review this Action Plan by the end of 1997, incorporating, where possible, new policies and accelerating their implementation. The main points of the Action Plan include the following;

  1. In order to establish an environment favourable to the creation of new industries, Japan will implement comprehensive policies, which include;
    • introduction of a law (in the next Diet Session) to enable venture investment partnerships to facilitate capital flows from foreign investors and pension funds to venture enterprises;
    • tax measures to promote stock options; promotion of internships to foster collaboration between industries and academics; and
    • introduction of a law (in the next Diet Session) to establish a technology transfer system for the rapid and smooth transfer of research results from university and national laboratories to the industrial sector.
  2. In order to correct the high cost structure, thorough changes of the regulatory systems will be made in such sectors as logistics (e.g., truck transportation), energy (e.g., electricity and gas), information and telecommunications, medical care and welfare, standards and conformance, and finance.
  3. In order to enhance the entrepreneurship of enterprises, to enable them to cope with the challenges before them and to maintain their vitality, optimal allocation of enterprises' resources should be reformed through the reform of corporate organisational systems. In particular, notification and reporting systems for mergers, stockholding, etc. will be reviewed, including the introduction or raising of a minimum threshold for notification and reporting. To this end, the Anti-Monopoly Law will be amended in the next Diet Session.
  4. In order to ensure that individuals can meet diverse challenges facing them, working and employment systems will be reformed. This will be done through labour mobility, flexible and optional working system and autonomous and creative working styles. With respect to worker dispatching, the overall system will be reviewed including a list of occupations that fall outside the scope for which worker dispatching is permitted, and the length of dispatching period as well as measures for protect workers. (The worker dispatching law will be amended in the next Diet session.) Regarding fee-charging employment placement projects, examination will be started by March 1998 based on the ILO Convention No. 181 and other circumstances. With a view to further expanding the range of occupations covered and enlarging the terms of validity of the permission, necessary measures, including legal measures, will be taken as soon as possible.
  5. In order to prevent the increasing public burden due to an ageing society from curbing economic vitality, efforts will be made to contain the public burden by improving the efficiency of the public sector, including social security costs such as pensions and medical care. This will enhance the compatibility between economic vitality and an ageing society.

Promotion of Employment of Young People Who Shoulder Responsibility for the Future

Today's youth will play an important role in ensuring the economic and social vitality in the future. Japan will promote comprehensive policies for youth employment in order to help the young develop clear occupational consciousness, and to choose and obtain an appropriate job.

  1. Japan will improve the general information centre that continuously and systematically gathers job information, disseminates it to young people, and provides them with various work experiences. This will help the young to understand better the meaning and importance of work and to develop a clear occupational consciousness.
  2. In order to promote the smooth transition from school to work, Japan will, through close collaboration between educational institutions and PES(Public Employment Services), improve the system for collecting and dispensing information on job experiences such as "internships", and encourage the introduction of these job experiences.
  3. In order to help young people obtain work in the changing job environment, Japan will enhance the consultation function of PES. To this end, Japan will improve the provision of employment information in response to the information-oriented society to allow the young to make better use of the related information provided by PES. In particular, in order to help the young people choose a job and make a job strategy in line with their abilities, Japan will improve the overall system of job assistance.

Promotion of Human Resource Development to Empower Workers to Sustain Economic Activities

As structural changes advance, companies are required to promote high value-added industrial activities or develop new business areas. In this situation, the development of human resources is urgently required to upgrade the expertise and professional skills of workers. Japan will promote comprehensive measures for human resources development as follows;

  1. Japan will improve the provision of information, counselling and subsidies for companies that provide their workers with vocational training in order to support human resource development on the initiative of the companies.
  2. In order to promote workers' own initiatives in human resource development throughout their lives, Japan will establish a public assistance system offering financial support. Japan will also improve the provision of information and counselling for workers.
  3. In order to encourage the development of human resources that sustain high value-added industrial activities, Japan will upgrade training courses implemented in public vocational training facilities.
  4. In order to correctly evaluate vocational ability adapted to economic structural changes such as the increasing trend of base evaluation on workers' ability or the increase in labour mobility, Japan will consider restructuring its vocational ability evaluation systems.

Realisation of Active Ageing

In order to promote comprehensive policies for employment for older workers from the perspective of active ageing, Japan will implement the following measures:

  1. Japan will promote measures to create a working society where continued employment is assured at least up to age 65. Japan will strive to gain public consensus to realise such a society and introduce and promote relevant systems in private companies.
  2. In order to promote various forms of work, in accordance with the different health conditions and job preferences of older people, Japan will encourage reemployment of older workers with the assistance of public employment services. It will also develop and expand "silver human resource centres" (organisations which promote forms of remunerated social activities at the local level), and promote various types of employment according to the needs of older workers, such as dispatched (temporary) or part-time jobs.

  3. Japan will promote human resource development according to the specific needs of older workers.

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Individual Action Plan for the Russian Federation

Title 1. Problems facing individuals and organisations undergoing changes.

In order to create favourable conditions for employment, to provide labour force for companies and to establish new industries Russia will continue reforming its economy with the aim of promoting economic and social progress and setting up a flexible national system of social support for the population.

Basic parameters of the social and economic policy of the Russian Federation have been set up by a Russian Government programme titled "Structural Changes and Economic Growth in 1997-2000". They are;

Title 2. Promotion of Employment of Young People Who Shoulder Responsibility for the Future.

Young people employment is a key element of the Russian social policy. Creating conditions for employment of the young just entering the labour market and shortening the period of job search for the rest shall become a first priority issue. Special attention shall be paid to job placement of the orphans.

The following measures shall be undertaken for this purpose;

Title 3. Promotion of Human Resources Development to Empower Workers to Sustain Economic Growth.

Measures shall be taken to adjust wages payment procedure to ensure a well-balanced combination of interests of workers, employers and the State;

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Summary of the Employment Action Plan of the United Kingdom


1. This paper summarises the UK's Employment Action Plan in the context of the Government's "Getting Europe Back to Work" initiative and the Amsterdam remit to exchange best practice on employment policies.

The Plan

2. This sets out the policies the UK Government sees as necessary to tackle unemployment and raise employment domestically.

3. It also considers which employment policies are working well in the UK which need strengthening to work better, and which policies are not working well and need changing.

4. The Government is clear that we need to set out a new agenda for employability, growth, job creating flexibility and inclusion. Employability means the development of skills and adaptable workforces in which all of those capable of work are encouraged to develop the skills, knowledge, technology and adaptability to enable them to enter and remain in employment throughout their working lives. We have put employability at the top of our agenda because employability is the key to a cohesive society which offers opportunity to all its citizens. We must ensure:

The Challenge

5. We all need to focus our efforts in 5 broad areas:

Promoting economic growth and stability

The UK Government has introduced new monetary policy arrangements designed to deliver permanently low inflation; and developed a new fiscal framework and introduced a deficit reduction plan to maintain sound public finances.

Investing in human capital

The Government plans to raise participation rates in post-compulsory education; reduce the numbers leaving school without basic qualifications; build on the Investors in People standard; and develop Individual Learning Accounts and a new University for Industry.

Helping people from welfare to work

The UK Government will introduce a major programme of employment measures designed to integrate the young and long-term unemployed, and other groups outside the labour market, back into employment. It will also mount an comprehensive review of the tax and benefit system and continue to bear down on non-wage labour costs.

Improving the workings of markets

The UK Government will introduce legislation toughen competition policy; seek to improve the quality of domestic regulation; continue to promote policies which facilitate mobility in the labour market; continue to support SMEs in all areas of policy.

Through these and other actions, creating a fair and inclusive society

The UK Government will promote innovative approaches across Government to tackle exclusion, and ensure better inter-agency/department co-ordination.

Success will take time

We will not reduce unemployment and raise employment overnight. We need to change policies now to achieve lasting success in the medium term. We will need to judge the success of our policies in 5-10 years, taking account of the effect of business cycle.

We must measure what we achieve

We need to be able to measure how our policies are working. Clearly we must monitor the overall levels of unemployment but we should also monitor:


We will not reduce unemployment and increase employment rates marginally overnight. But this plan sets concrete actions the UK Government is taking to tackle unemployment, to help people to become more employable and help those who have in the past been too easily excluded from the labour market. As the plan shows, it is vital to take action across a wide area of policy.

If we are to tackle unemployment we need to work together to compare our policies and see which work best in helping more people into work. Whilst employment policies are clearly for each country to determine based on their own circumstances and particular problems, there is much we can learn from each other.

This action plan is a new step to help promote the effective exchange of experience between countries.

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November 28th-29th, 1997

An overview of U.S. Policies of Relevance to Kobe Conference Themes

The United States Government Appreciates the invitation of the Government of Japan to discuss, as an Annex to Japan's Conclusions about the Kobe Jobs Conference, U.S. policy initiatives that are relevant to the themes of the Conference. It is the view of the United States Government that the Kobe Conference has been a useful forum for the Summit of the Eight Countries to exchange information on the themes considered, and that it is now up to each country to put that information to use in a manner that best serves its unique domestic circumstances.

The United States Government values the insights offered by its Summit colleagues, and in the spirit of cooperation that supports this type of exchange, makes available the following description of U.S. policy. Those wishing more information are welcome to explore the material that can be accessed through White House (http//www.whitehouse.gov) or U.S. Department of Labor (http://www.dol.gov) links on the World Wide Web.

1. Promotion of Smooth Adjustment to Structural Change.

Policy Focus

Examples of On-Going Policies

II. Employment of Young People

Policy Focus

Example of On-Going Policies

III. Human Resource Development

Policy Focus

The Federal Government seeks to compete efforts of state and local governments and the private sector in responding to new labor market needs. The present Administration's education and training policies are predicated on three principles:

Examples of On-Going Policies

IV. Active Aging

Policy Focus

The Older Americans Act, enacted in 1965, provides the framework for addressing the needs of the nation's senior population. The essential mission of the OAA is to foster maximum independence among seniors by providing a wide array of social and community services to older persons in greatest social and economic need. In this and other statues are found a range of Federal policies and programs that contribute to continued labor force participation among seniors and other aspects of Active Aging.

Examples of On-Going Policies

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November 28th-29th, 1997

Action Plan of the European Union

A co-ordinated strategy for boosting job creation and combating unemployment in Europe

The inclusion in the Treaty of Amsterdam of a new title on employment has paved the way for a decisive strengthening of policy co-ordination within the EU. The first step in launching a more closely knit European strategy for employment has been given by the Extraordinary European Council meeting on employment in Luxembourg,on 21 November. In agreeing the 1998 Employment Guidelines, the European Council adopted common strategic objectives covering the principal aspects of policy for creating jobs and combating unemployment, and a method for following up implementation and progress by all Member States respecting the principle of subsidiarity and the fact of that the primary responsibilities of employment policy remains with the Member States.

This approach is complementary to the continuation and development of a co-ordinated macroeconomic policy, underpinned by an efficient internal market, which will lay the foundations for sustainable growth, new dynamism and a climate of confidence conducive to boosting employment.

The European co-ordinated strategy for employment is based on four pillars;

  1. To improve the employability of the work force, by developing preventive and employability-oriented measures targeted to the most vulnerable groups among the unemployed, switching from passive income support to active measures, encouraging social partners to agree on extended possibilities for training and work experience, and easing the transition from school to work in particular for the early school-leavers and young people with poor qualification levels.
  2. To develop entrepreneurship, by reducing and simplifying the administrative burdens on SMEs, especially when hiring additional workers, encouraging the development of self-employment, exploiting new opportunities for job creation, particularly in the social economy and in new technologies, and making the taxation system more employment-friendly.
  3. To encourage adaptability in business and their employees, by modernising work organisation, through flexible working arrangements under various forms, negotiated by the social partners at the appropriate levels, and the introduction of more adaptable types of contract, and supporting adaptability in enterprises through enhanced investment in human resources.
  4. To strengthen the policies for equal opportunities, by tackling the gender gap in terms of employment rates and occupational structure, reconciling work and family life, through better quality child care facilities and more extended use of parental leave and career breaks, and facilitating the return of women, and men,to work.

In translating there common objectives into practice, Member States, while adopting different solutions and timetables in line with the particular situation of each,will endeavour to reach concrete results, in particular in the following areas and normally within the overall time span of 5 years:

The achievement of these policy objectives will be monitored jointly by the Council and the Commission in accordance with the multilateral surveillance method that has been used so successfully in promoting nominal economic convergence under the Maastricht criteria.

The Employment Guidelines will be incorporated in national Employment action plans drawn up by the Member States in line with individual situations, and subsequently translated into national measures.

The multilateral monitoring procedure, involving an annual examination of Member States' employment policies, revised guidelines in the light of the results achieved, and possibly individual recommendations to Member States, will be carried out in line with the new provisions on employment of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

The social partners will be closely involved in the implementation of the guidelines in accordance with their roles in the Member States.

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Source: Japan. Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

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