The ILO, the private sector, productivity, sustainability, and working conditions in SMEs

Investing in working conditions, safety and health and training can turn into increased competitiveness and performance resulting in win-win situations for Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), their employees, and the lead buyers that source from them. Furthermore, competitive private enterprise is a lead source of economic growth and jobs around the globe. The ILO has a number of tested methods to support them.

For example, the ILO Work Improvements in Small Enterprises (WISE) is a training methodology specifically designed to improve working conditions and productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises around the world. Modules have existed and have been continually revised and expanded since 1988. 

The Better Work programme, working with the garment sector, plays a significant role in helping international buyers uphold their commitment to comply with international core labour standards and national labour laws, and to continuously improve their global supply chains. It focuses on capacity building, social dialogue, and the identification of practical solutions for sustainable and positive change to the industry.

Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) is a practical training and in-factory counselling programme that improves productivity and working conditions in SMEs. The SCORE programme demonstrates best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors, and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.