The ILO is a major resource centre for information, analysis and guidance on the world of work. Research accompanies and reinforces all of the Organization’s standard-setting and technical cooperation activities and the ILO is universally regarded as an authoritative source of knowledge on the world of work. Its institutes and Centres are specialized departments of the Organization which provide specialized support for ILO’s offices and constituents.
The ILO International Institute for Labour Studies in Geneva promotes policy research and public discussion on emerging issues of concern to the ILO and its constituents – labour, business and government.
The organizing theme of the Institute’s programmes is the notion of “decent work”. The Institute’s programmes seek to contribute to the development of the analytical and empirical foundations of decent work and a broader understanding of the policy instruments necessary to implement it in practice.
The Institute provides:
• International research programmes and networks linking academics with business, labour, and government practitioners, to explore emerging policy issues of potential relevance for the ILO and contribute to policy formulation.
• Educational programmes to assist trade unions, employers’ organizations and labour administrations in developing their institutional capacities for research, analysis, and policy formulation in the economic and social fields.
The Institute's means of action include research, workshops and seminars, internship programmes, a visiting scholar programme and publications. The Institute's programmes draw upon the ILO's operational experience, its field structure and its unique global databases on development policy and social legislation in over 170 countries.
As skilled human resources are central to the pursuit of decent work, in 1965, the ILO established its training arm in Turin, Italy, to assist countries in their social and economic development through training. Working in close partnership with regional and national training institutions, the Centre contributes to disseminating the ILO’s principles and policies, and to strengthening the capacity of national institutions to implement relevant programmes, in line with its strategic objectives.
It offers training/learning opportunities and related services to decision makers, managers, practitioners and trainers from governments, workers’ organizations, employers’ organizations and their partner institutions. It has partnerships with regional and national training institutions and its services are available to the United Nations system as a whole, including ILO staff.
To date, over 90,000 women and men from 170 nations have benefited from its services since it opened in 1965. The annual number of activities exceeds 300 standard courses, customized learning events, comprehensive training projects, advisory services, and training material design and production. Around half the activities take place on-campus and the rest in the field. Besides group training, the Centre organizes, on request, learning programmes for individuals who are placed in public and private institutions and organizations. Increasingly, it uses information technology, including the Internet, to offer distance learning and tutoring services.
The Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (ILO/Cinterfor) is a technical service of the ILO, with the mission of the development of a permanent learning and horizontal cooperation community among the national organizations in charge of vocational training. It works as the core of a system integrated by vocational training-related institutions and organisations belonging to ILO Member States in the world.