Labour mobility is a priority area in the APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Action Plan (2015-2018) and a key aspect of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025. APEC Economic Leaders declared in November 2014 that “much work needs to be done to ease existing barriers to interaction and mobility, and to develop joint endeavours that will support seamless flows of people”. This project will assist the HRD Working Group in developing a path forward on these issues.
The main outcome of the project will be a report for APEC on labour mobility in the region, including advice on the major impediments to more efficient and effective labour mobility, and effective strategies.
Expert consultants will be engaged to research, primarily through data analysis and literature review, the following areas:
1) Patterns of labour flows around the APEC region, including baseline indicators and key labour market trends;
2) The potential benefits of labour mobility in the region in reducing unemployment and boosting productivity; and
3) The major drivers and impediments to labour mobility in the region, presented in a holistic framework;
The report will be informed by a workshop held as part of the HRD Working Group network meetings in May 2015 in The Philippines and a survey of economies. A small number of representatives from international organisations would also be invited to share their expertise. These activities will enable member economies to share their experiences, areas of current activity and contemporary policy issues; to inform the development of actions called for by the Blueprint.
The project will help address the call by APEC HRD Ministers in 2014 to promote the effective management of labour mobility, strengthen the evidence base, and encourage further research and dialogue. It will diversify APEC’s approach to labour mobility, complementing cross‑border education and skills recognition activities, the APEC Labour Market Portal and Business Mobility Group projects.
Past research by the business community and international organisations has identified a wide array of policy issues, including work that culminated in the APEC Business Advisory Council’s ‘Earn, Learn, Return’ model. However, there’s a need to review this body of work to take account of recent developments, weigh up the suggested impediments to mobility, and develop an APEC-specific strategy.