Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

7th Annual Meeting of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance (Vienna, Austria)


"Doing more with less: local partnerships’ role in the recovery"

10-11 March 2011
Palais Auersperg, Vienna, Austria


Rationale / Agenda and Materials / Contacts 



Even if the recovery is in sight, it may take a long time for many localities to get back to pre-recession levels of employment and business activity and to heal the social exclusion scars of the recession. Governments and local authorities have to address these challenges with much scarcer resources as public funding is under enormous pressure, with substantial cuts across most budget priorities and stricter requirements on spending of what is still available. In the context of “low public spending recovery” governments and local leaders need to be smart to make sure that policies and local initiatives are efficient enough to generate growth, job creation and combat exclusion at local level.

To get more from the limited funds available, localities have to maximise every opportunity to foster growth. Employment, economic development and inclusion programmes can no longer be designed in policy silos. The employment and inclusion dimension of major enterprise or infrastructure development projects should be defined strategically to re-integrate those who have lost their jobs and also help to build pathways to employment for youth and vulnerable groups. In turn, the employment policy should support business development by better targeting qualification and training programmes to business needs, but also by working with employers to improve skills utilisation and productivity so that workers have better and more stable jobs in the future and do not fall into the ‘working poor’ trap.

The social economy and private sector (social venture capital) can play an important role in social cohesion and improving employment prospects for people who are more vulnerable to unemployment. New financial instruments and incentives need to be put in place for private investment in deprived communities. Also efforts and resources should be strategically channelled to support the emergence of new sectors, be it greener industry, a silver economy to address the implications of the ageing population or other place-specific growth sectors. 


Agenda and Materials

The 7th Annual Meeting of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance brought together some 200 representatives of local partnerships, government officials, local leaders, social entrepreneurs, business representatives, trade unions and academics to review how local development actors are adapting to this new reality and the innovations emerging on the ground to respond to these new challenges.


The first plenary session addressed the following three questions:


How can local economic development projects integrate social and employment objectives?


How can labour market policy support economic growth?


How to prevent exclusion when budgets are running low?


Professor Mike Campbell, Director of Research and Policy, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Virginia Hamilton, Strategist and Former Director, California Workforce Association, US
Denis Leamy, Chief Executive, Pobal, Ireland


A networking session about "Local initiatives for skills, jobs, social inclusion and economic development" provided an excellent opportunity for all Forum members to exchange knowledge with peers and establish professional networks and contacts. A series of short interactive sessions were organised featuring discussions around selected presentations of innovative initiatives and other topics of interest to partnership practitioners. 


Several concurrent thematic workshops were organised around the following themes:





Greener economy: adapting businesses to the low-carbon economy


Further readings:

- LEED Green project

- London: Climate change, employment and local development

- Extremadura: Climate change, employment and local development

Working with employers for better quality jobs 

Innovative mechanisms to finance inclusion strategies

California lessons: Galvanising partners to achieve success

Enterprise creation and growing talent in SMEs  


Further readings:

- Workshop summary note

Breaking out of policy silos 


Further readings:

- Breaking out of policy silos publication

Social innovation for better lives

California lessons: Career pathways & clusters

Demographic change & local development


Further readings:

- Leed Demographic change project

Workshop summary note

Local youth employment strategies


Further readings:


What do social enterprises need to support inclusion?


Further readings:

- LEED Social entrepreneurship project

California lessons: Galvanising partners to achieve success


The final plenary session reviewed the key conclusions of the 12 thematic workshops and reflected on how partnerships and other local development actors can contribute to rebuilding employment in a new context and how governments can facilitate partnership working.

Download the agenda.



For further information, please contact Ekaterina Travkina at the OECD Secretariat.