Global report

Technology adoption in public employment services: Catching up with the future

The combined effects of the global pandemic and the general trend of digitalization are pushing public employment services to accelerate their use of innovation to develop and deliver simpler, faster and better services for clients.

This report provides a global overview on how public employment services are approaching technology to improve service delivery, prior to the pandemic and when the COVID-19 crisis was in full swing. From better use of data to more effective service design and accessibility, the report explores the advantages offered by the utilization of long-tested as well as newly introduced technologies. It also analyses the barriers to the effective use of technology in service delivery.

The findings of the report are based on an ILO global survey that was conducted with the support of the World Association of Public Employment Services between May and October 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. In total, 69 public employment services officers in 64 countries from all ILO regions responded to the self-administered questionnaire, voicing the position of their respective national employment service system. To date, this survey is the only global instrument that explores the technological transformation status of the public employment services systems.

What comes through clearly in the global survey findings is that freeing staff from routine tasks enables them to focus on more specialized functions, such as working with targeted beneficiaries and undeserved groups. It is among the top benefits of technology adoption for service delivery cited by respondents. When appropriate strategies for outreach are in place and in-person support is maintained, new technology has the potential to enhance delivery of employment services to populations disadvantaged in their access to digital technology.