Russia has introduced a number of initiatives to the G20 employment agenda
On February 21-22, 2013 the first Task Force on Employment Meeting was held in Moscow within the framework of Russia's G20 Presidency.
Task Force on Employment discussions were focused on possible ways to implement the G20 Leaders' commitment to promote growth and jobs. The issue of job creation was addressed through the lens of economic reform and in a close linkage to stimulating investments. Discussion on labour activation concentrated on creating conditions (including education and labour market regulation) to grant access to the labour market for the vulnerable social groups. Much emphasis was put on intensive cooperation with social partners (Labour 20, Business 20 and Civil 20).
Alexey Vovchenko, Co-Chair of the Meeting and the Russian Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection, listed the Russian initiatives in the sphere of employment, further discussed during the meeting: "We have announced three major topics for this year. The first - is job creation in global economic understanding of this term. So far this issue hasn't been addressed by the G20 from this perspective. The second task refers to involving the socially vulnerable groups of population to the labour market. Primarily, we are talking about people of older working age, women with children, the disabled and youth. Finally, the third task is to start - for the first time in the G20 practice - monitoring the implementation of commitments and decisions, made in previous years. All these three initiatives were supported by our colleagues."
Talking about the expected outcomes of the Task Force on Employment work within the year of the Russian Presidency, Alexey Vovchenko stressed: "We plan to attract attention of the G20 Leaders to the issue of global job creation, which we consider to be the key point for recovery from crisis. In this very sphere the G20 countries should lead the rest of the world by example, setting the landmark for other countries moving forward and being one of the mechanisms of improving the economic situation. We say: ‘job creation is equal to growth' - and vice versa."
Moreover, the Task Force on Employment began preparations for the Joint G20 Labour and Finance Ministers Meeting -the first one in the G20 history. The Joint Meeting is scheduled for July 2013.
Margaret Kidd, Co-Chair of the Meeting and Group Manager at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia), noted the importance of the Joint Labour and Finance Ministers Meeting, being one of the most significant initiatives of the G20 for this year. "Labour and Finance Ministers both have a strong interest in jobs and growth but they look at these issues from different perspectives. Finance Ministers are focused on developing strong economies and demand that stimulates jobs growth. Labour Ministers, on the other hand, are responsible for the supply side by ensuring that jobs seekers have the right skills and are able to participate in the labour market. So this joint meeting brings the focus on supply and demand together to support jobs and the development of human capital," - Margaret Kidd explained.
She also emphasized the role of the Russian initiative on monitoring the progress achieved with regard to implementation of previous commitments. "The Russian Presidency has made it clear the importance of monitoring and accountability of the progress on G20 countries commitments. We need to show our progress - both on previous commitments and, hopefully, on new commitments going forward," - the Co-Chair concluded.