Vorm boven inhoud: het actief arbeidsmarktbeleid in de afgelopen dertig jaar | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 26, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Form over substance: the active labour market policy in the last thirty years

Form over substance: the active labour market policy in the last thirty years

Re-integration policy in the Netherlands has been severely criticized. Recently, some have even proposed to liquidate the national public actor responsible for the implementation of this policy. It would not be the first change in the implementation structure. During the last thirty years, reorganizing the implementation structure was the usual answer to criticism. That something might be wrong with the content of the policy has received far less attention. Form was put first and content came second. The results of the changes in implementation structure were poor. In the course of time the broader concept of active labour market policy was narrowed to re-integration policy. The former also includes measures to prevent unemployment and takes both the supply side and the demand side of the labour market into consideration. In the coming years such a broader approach is badly needed. Demographic changes will cause labour shortages, but at the same time there will be a large group of people who are difficult to employ. The main recommendations are to maintain a national implementation structure for an active labour market policy; to avoid radical changes in the implementation structure; to stimulate vocational training and to evaluate seriously (using an experimental design) what works and what does not work.


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