Suggestions for Bridging Industry and Employment Policies in National Governments

Sven Otto Littorin, IIIJ, Swedish Minister for Employment 2006-10, President of the European Council of Ministers (EPSCO) 2009.

Personal trust and informal contacts between ministers for employment and industry enable attempts to bridge the ministry silos, and a crisis situation can provide the impetus for moving ahead.

Sven Otto LittorinSilos in government, in particular a lack of culture of collaboration between ministries for industry and employment, stand in the way of integrating public policies into a policy for innovation for jobs. Personal trust and informal contacts between ministers for employment and industry enable attempts to bridge the silos, and a crisis situation can provide the impetus for moving ahead. But even with the best partnership in a large crisis, obstacles, such as bringing different ministries to work together and overriding public perceptions that keep them apart, will challenge the collaboration between ministers.  This paper suggests how the Swedish ministers for Employment and Industry created a joint Innovation/Entrepreneurship/Labor Market initiative, addressing the crisis of Saab Automobile in the Swedish city of Trollhättan. The author of this paper was the Minister for Employment at the time.

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