Adapting or bending Social Investment: Almps implementation at the urban level: the case of Milan and Vienna
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Active labour market policies (Almps) represent a key aspect of Social Investment’s aim of tackling unemployment through activation and investment in human capital. The paper studies the intricacies between SI and Almp in two European cities – Milan and Vienna. We focus on policy tools to show if and how the two cities’ service supply adapt to SI principles. Findings show the penetration of the SI perspective at the discursive level in both case studies, especially regarding a pro-market orientation of Almp. Local policymakers hold space to develop an additional supply of employment services. However, crucial differences between the two case studies emerge. In Vienna activation is combined with a successful focus on human capital, while in Milan, investment in upskilling is weaker. Cherry-picking practices by private providers are not compensated by public service’s action in Milan. Almp governance in Vienna shows the crucial role of social partners in service provision, while service supply in Milan is fragmented between a constellation of private and public providers. On the contrary, in Vienna, the public services are more effective in job placement while for-profit providers play a neglectable role