How better public services could mean better jobs and better pay

Close up of a person's hands typing on a laptop with a webpage saying Job Search on it

The life and work prospects of millions in developing countries have greatly improved in recent years. New labour markets are transforming how many people make a living.

But this rapid growth increases the need for effective employment and welfare services. Without them, workers can struggle to find better jobs and governments can struggle to fill vacancies.

For more than two decades, Professor Dan Finn, our Emeritus Professor of Social Inclusion has researched the development of employment and welfare services around the world. His work has taken him to countries as diverse as Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

All three countries have introduced publicly-financed, contracted-out employment services that help the unemployed find work, meet employers' needs and stimulate economic growth.

Professor Finn is now working with international organisations, such as the World Bank, to help developing countries create similar services.

‘Each country is different, and each model has new lessons to learn. There is no ‘one size fits all’ model,’ he said.

‘I have dedicated a lot of time to looking at the development of employment and welfare services around the world and how governments can avoid the mistakes made in other countries. In that way, other countries can design better welfare-to-work services that help their economy and an individual's employment prospects.'

This research will contribute to stronger public support programmes. It will improve the lives of millions of people in the search for employment and better paid jobs

Professor Dan Finn

Emeritus Professor of Social Inclusion

Around the world, Professor Finn's work is already in practical use.

His work in Australia shaped the design and implementation of contracted-out employment services in the UK. And after the 2012 global financial crisis - when Ireland faced a major increase in long-term unemployment - his research helped create the successful JobPath programme, which helped many back to work.

He also says his research can help modern societies deal with technological and demographic changes that have affected jobs themselves and how a changing population finds employment too.

'What I love most about this work is the chance to see policy advice and research work transform into a real-life service that makes a difference.

'This research will contribute to stronger public support programmes. It will improve the lives of millions of people in the search for employment and better paid jobs.'