On 14 and 15 January 2016 Federal Minister Andrea Nahles and her counterparts from over 40 OECD member states and partner countries held talks in Paris on appropriate measures to strengthen labour markets around the world.
In their joint final statement, the ministers stressed the importance of effective programmes aimed at improving employability and at strengthening job-related skills throughout employees' working lives.
Federal Minister Nahles made the following statement: "We are confronted with major changes in the world of work, which we need to shape actively. It is clear that work will become more flexible. This poses opportunities and risks. I see new opportunities for reconciling work and family life and for self-determined working hours. We need more training opportunities so that no one is left behind. Our job as labour and employment ministers is to create the right framework conditions for this and to work together with unions and companies to ensure that the opportunities are actually used."
The OECD has been tasked with drafting a new OECD Jobs Strategy. Federal Minister Nahles will host a conference in Germany in 2017 for a joint evaluation of its main themes.
Ahead of the ministerial meeting, there was a policy forum on the "Future of Work" attended by over 300 international guests from politics, academia, the media, civil society and trade unions. At a joint panel discussion with United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Federal Minister Nahles spoke about the challenges brought on by changes in the world of work due to digitisation and presented the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ "Work 4.0" initiative.