Non-standard career paths — in which workers jump from one employment arrangement to another according to the projects they work on — have become more frequent in modern labour markets. The traditional solutions for organizing and managing work relationships and job transitions have become less effective for such workers regarding the risks of precariousness and economic dependence they may experience. Envisioning ways forward requires an appreciation of what was achieved over the past century and an understanding of what is needed to replace and adapt these achievements. Emerging solutions for managing work relationships are provided by a growing range of third-party labour market actors, but the evaluation of their contributions in the literature remains limited. In this article, we build an original theoretical framework to evaluate such contributions according to the kind of services they provide and their respective engagement in institutional innovation. We give examples of solutions developed for skilled workers in two institutional contexts: the Netherlands and Belgium and show how our framework can help distinguish at least three groups of actors that contribute to labour market development in different ways.
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© 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Industrial Relations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.