WEC Winners

ABU, ISF & NRF win WEC Awards 2020

The WEC Awards are the opportunity to reward the work of WEC’s national federations in advancing the private employment services industry and labour markets. 2020 has been particularly challenging for all players across the world due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic but that has not stopped the creativity and resourcefulness of WEC members.

ABU (the Netherlands) won the Leadership in Social Innovation Award for its “From-Work-To-Work training vouchers” initiative. As the Netherlands went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 45,000 temporary agency workers lost their jobs in the period of March-April alone. The Federation of Private Employment Agencies (ABU) turned to DOORZAAM, the sector’s fund for sustainable employability, to work together in order to get those people back to work without delay.

Private employment agencies can use these vouchers, each worth 500 euros, to offer job-seeking temporary agency workers courses, training programmes, on-the-job training, training periods or on-boarding at the client. The voucher is only redeemed when the private employment agency has actually found a job for the temporary agency worker. Thanks to that initiative, more than 4,000 temporary agency workers were reassigned and returned to work within a short period of time.

The second award, Rising Federation, went to NRF (Ireland). Steadily growing its membership base for the past three years, the NRF also managed to launch – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – the first undergraduate degree for recruiters in the world positioned on the national framework of education, giving recognition as a professional career path for recruiters. Being very committed to upskilling members and to raising the standards of the profession, the NRF is consistently pioneering to improve education.

The Covid-19 crisis also challenged the NRF to think outside the box and to act swiftly. Through its “Keep Ireland Working” campaign, a dedicated portal on its website, a taskforce of experts and one to one support to smaller agencies, the NRF spurred the the spirit of Collaboration within its members and helped them cope with the crisis.

ISF took the third award home, for its “Outstanding Advocacy” work resulting in the implementation of National License for the staffing industry in India. One of the most regulated labour markets yet the least protected, India offers little or no incentives for the youth to enter the formal workforce which already counts over 350 million people in the country.

Since 2012, the Indian Staffing Federation has petitioned for the implementation of National License for the staffing industry. After several years of advocacy at multiple levels – including working together with international organisations such as the ILO, raising awareness of the importance of ethical behavior, gathering data to enable fact-based decion-making and dialoguing with all stakeholders – the Indian Ministry of Labour and Employment accepted the ISF’s recommendations and the National/State License became reality in September 2020. Thanks to this new legal framework, the Indian staffing sector will be able to fully play its role and offer more opportunities of formal work for Indian workers.

In light of all efforts deployed by WEC members in addressing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the Head Office decided to grant a special prize to one federation that really went an extra mile and made a difference for agency workers, our sector and society at large.

Italian federation Assolavoro received the Head Office’s Honour in recognition for its actions at various levels to support income, employability and working conditions of agency workers during the Covid crisis. Through advocacy and communications campaign, they radically changed the outlook of the staffing industry in Italy. Through social dialogue, they worked with trade unions and demonstrated that flexibility and security can go hand-in-hand, even in times of crisis. They also brought that cooperation spirit to the World Employment Confederation, never hesitating to share with other members and the Head Office the initiatives they were putting in place and to tap into the resources that our global network has to offer.

Congratulations to all winners of the WEC Awards 2020!

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