Sen. Warner Announces Release of Gao Report Identifying Gaps in Training and Employment Resources for Independent Workers
Oct 26 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled “DOL Can Better Share Information on Services for On-Demand, or Gig, Workers” that identifies areas where the public workforce system can better serve workers engaged in on-demand work:
“As we continue to assess the scope and policy implications of the growing independent workforce, it is vital that we rely on sound data to inform our decisions,” said Sen. Warner. “This report details several areas where our public workforce system could improve to be more responsive to this dynamic segment of the economy. I’m hopeful that we can work together to make these improvements and identify others that will make our federal training and employment resources better suited to the 21st century.”
The report is the culmination of a request that Sen. Warner made in 2015 asking GAO to assess: what types of workers are participating in the gig economy, what skills they need to be successful, what challenges they face in navigating employment and training opportunities, and to what extent federal workforce and education programs provide resources and tools that help workers acquire necessary skills. GAO’s report sheds light on these areas and will help inform federal policymaking, including Sen. Warner’s ongoing efforts to identify legislative solutions necessary to support people engaging in the contingent workforce:
“Today’s GAO report provides important insights into how the workforce development system fails to consistently retrain workers for the growing number of non-traditional work opportunities and fails to help the tens of millions of independent workers further develop their skills,” said Alastair Fitzpayne, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Future of Work Initiative. “Policymakers should read this report and develop ideas that help modernize the workforce development system so that it accounts for all forms of work.”
Sen. Warner also wrote Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta requesting that he take action on a number of recommendations and observations identified in GAO’s report, including: making resources relevant to independent workers more easily accessible, clarifying to state and local workforce officials that there are no federal prohibitions against posting gig work opportunities in job centers, and working to better measure the impact of contingent work and integrate this information with traditional labor market data.