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Generally, contractors have some flexibility to delivery their services as long as they produce the required outputs (e.g. the number of delivered training courses or programmes) but they are generally required to perform specified tasks within the contract. Contracting out employment services is an administrative burden since it is strictly linked to the Act on Public Procurement which is not well designed for quick and flexible contracting of small-scale services.

Results from the OECD questionnaire

When local employment offices were asked where they would consider additional flexibility to be a priority, programme design and choosing target groups were identified as a high priority. Contracting (perceived as an administrative burden) and performance management (regarded as already flexible) were regarded as having a low priority (see Figure 3.3).

Figure 3.3. Where flexibility is desired with public employment services

Flexibility in vocational training

There is a certain degree of flexibility in local training provision but this depends on whether it is state run or delivered by a private institution. Local colleges and training institutions select from a broad curricula which training programmes to implement locally and can also, in certain circumstances, request special training programmes to meet local needs but the approval process for a new training course can be lengthy.

A recently introduced measure as part of the reform process allows for a flexible approach to meet local training needs. Unemployed individuals can propose to their local PES office a training course for re-skilling to increase their employability, even if the course or training institution is not covered in a contract by the regional office.

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