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Discussions 

E-Discussion on Quality, Innovative Apprenticeships for the Future of Work

14 May 2018   to   25 May 2018

Widespread youth unemployment represents a social paradox: while many youth are looking for work, many employers cannot find workers with the skills they need. This type of skills mismatch is being accentuated significantly by the transformational changes buffeting the world of work - technological innovation, shifts in the organization of work through platform-based economies. Traditional school-based vocational education and training systems face growing challenges to be more flexible and responsive in ensuring that young people are better equipped with the skills to take on new jobs today and in the future. Against this background, quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes are critical to meeting the challenge of the future world of work.

The E-Discussion aims to examine the role of quality apprenticeships, and other work-based learning programmes, as part of the solution to the challenge of youth unemployment and preparing the workforce for the fast changing skills demands of the labour market.

Among the questions to be discussed over the coming two weeks are:

1. How do apprenticeships benefit various stakeholders such as employers, trade unions, governments and apprentices? Are there any institutions in your country that collect and disseminate evidence about the benefits of apprenticeships?
2. In view of rapid changes in labour market contributing to an increase in skills mismatches, how important is the role of apprenticeships in aligning skills supply to the future of work?
3. In your country, is there a clear, common understanding of the differences between apprenticeships, internships, traineeships, learnerships and other forms of work-based learning?
4. Despite widely accepted benefits, why do many countries have difficulties in establishing, scaling up and sustaining high- quality apprenticeships? What specific challenges are faced in implementing and expanding apprenticeships in your country?
5. What innovations are needed to make apprenticeships more attractive for youth and employers respectively, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
6. What strategies could be used to ensure better gender equality and disability inclusion in apprenticeships?

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On lifelong learning for the future of work, 16 to 29 March 2018

16 March 2018   to   29 March 2018

Lifelong Learning (LLL) is central to managing the different transitions that workers will face over the course of the life cycle. It can ensure that they successfully enter the labour market, continually upskill while in employment, and reskill to take advantage of emerging jobs throughout their careers.

This life-cycle approach raises fundamental questions about the respective responsibilities of governments, workers and enterprises in making choices about when and how to reskill and retrain. It requires strategies to ensure the financing and delivery of skills development, whether through the enhancement of public investment, the provision of financial and other incentives to boost engagement in learning activities, and/or approaches that seek to combine a mix of public and private investment in all phases of delivery.

We encourage you to read the Issue Brief ‘Skills Policies and Systems for a Future Workforce’ prepared for the 2nd Meeting of the Global Commission on the Future of Work which took place on February 15-17 as additional background information on this discussion, see below.

This discussion feature works best when accessed from the following browsers: Chrome or Firefox.
To begin the global conversation on LLL we invite you to reflect on the following questions:

1. How can the model of LLL be adapted to cater to a future world of work? What are the building blocks of a well-functioning LLL system?

2. What governance mechanisms will be suitable for the efficient provision of and engagement in relevant LLL for all? What are the respective roles of governments, the private sector and the social partners?

3. What financial mechanisms might be used to encourage the provision of and participation in training; who should bear the cost and how? What are investment priorities for LLL to harness economic growth and minimise social risks?

4. What strategies, policies and incentives will be needed to increase the uptake of LLL?

5. What are the appropriate delivery mechanisms of LLL that will make learning accessible and relevant for youth, adults and older workers, embrace new technologies and forms of learning and balance needs for wide access, flexibility and quality in the learning offer?

On Recognition of Prior Learning, 24 to 30 September 2017

24 September 2017   to   30 September 2017

Today’s globalized and fast-changing world is marked by an increasing diversity and flexibility in where people work; how people work; the regularization of; and mobility for work. Because of these developments, workers have been able to obtain skills and knowledge through a wide range of sources and means, both within countries and across developed, developing and emerging economies. Capturing the competencies that individuals acquire over the course of their lives, regardless of where or how they were acquired, is important in ensuring that workers have evidence of all skills obtained. Proof of acquired skills also eases the transition between different jobs and can remove barriers to wage growth.

In developing countries with high school dropout rates, many workers acquire workplace skills via informal means. As a consequence they face significant challenges in gaining decent employment and furthering their education if systems are not in place through which knowledge, skills and competence acquired through non-formal and informal means are recognized. Against this backdrop, ensuring that workers have access to systems that enable them to ‘document’ the worth of their skills for use in the labour market becomes increasingly important. With half of the global labour force working and producing in the informal economy (amidst growing informality in industrialized countries), and with the increasing internationalization of labour markets, the benefits of recognizing prior learning are vast. These include the transfer and recognition of the skills of migrants in new contexts, an easier capacity for workers to…..

(Please read full Guidance Note below.)

We invite you to contribute to this discussion by responding to the following questions:

1. How has your country used RPL systems and what results and lessons have emerged from its use?

2. What challenges has your country experienced in the implementation of RPL systems?

3. Recognition systems can be used to promote more inclusive and sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone. In your view, what potential benefits do RPL systems offer migrant workers/refugees?

4. How can we build trust around the assessments offered via RPL?

This discussion feature works best when accessed from the following browsers: Chrome or Firefox.

Be Bold For Change — Inclusive Growth through Skills Development, 6 to 17 March

6 March 2017   to   17 March 2017

Many of the global drivers of transformational change will have major implications for skills development. For example, technological advances will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. Referred to by many as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, evolution in robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology will require enormous changes in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape. This revolution is also expected to result in significant job creation and displacement, heightened labour productivity and widening skills gaps.

The pledge that “no one will be left behind” in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), commits member States to plan to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality.

A number of SDGs are particularly relevant in tackling these transformational drivers of change in the world of work:

- SDG 4 on quality education and lifelong learning;

- SDG 5 on gender equality; and,

- SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth.

Bold changes are needed to stimulate hope and drive for the inclusion of all individuals in present and future development processes. Yet, ensuring that inclusion is equitable is not automatic.

Please read full Guidance Note below.
Week two questions include, among others:
4. Different countries have taken different approaches to promoting inclusive growth through skills development. Yet, is it about broadening access to formal training institutions? Is it about improving the quality and perception of TVET? Is it about specific skills that could promote disadvantaged groups in gaining decent and productive jobs? What is your view and experience?

5. What are unique and innovative programmes in your country that reach out and address specific skills needs of disadvantaged groups?

6. Increased automation will change the nature of jobs and low-skilled workers are likely to face highest employment risks. What kind of skills or skills-plus programmes can assist in enhancing their employability and career prospects?

7. We all know that skills alone may not be sufficient for realizing inclusive growth. How do your country’s skills development initiatives connect to broader programmes that promote inclusive employment and equality of opportunities?

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