Skills and Employability Branch (SKILLS)

Governments, employers' associations and trade unions around the world are working to improve the employability of workers, move young people into productive and decent work, and increase the productivity of enterprises through better quality and relevant training. The Skills and Employability Branch conducts comparative research and provides policy guidelines and technical assistance to help constituents integrate skills development into national and sector development strategies.

The ILO's work with constituents focuses primarily on three areas: linking training to current labour market needs as well as anticipating and building competencies for the jobs of the future; building quality apprenticeship systems and incorporating core skills into training for young people; and expanding access to employment-related training in rural communities in order to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty, and equip women and men to work in the formal economy.

What's new

  1. Video

    Lifelong learning and skills development: Interview with Sir Alan Tuckett, OBE

    In this interview, Sir Alan Tuckett, adult education specialist and campaigner, explains what is meant by lifelong learning and the role the ILO and its partners play in managing lifelong learning systems.

  2. Video

    Lifelong learning and skills development: Interview with Dr. Paul Ryan

    In this interview, Dr. Paul Ryan discusses how to ensure quality lifelong learning and the challenges ahead. Part of the video interviews recorded during the ILO's SKILLS Branch Workshop on Lifelong Learning held on 30 January, 2019.

  3. Brochure

    Skills and Employability

    This brochure provides an overview of the main areas of work of the Skills and Employability Branch of the Employment Policy Department.

  4. Podcast: Employment seminar series

    Cost and benefits of apprenticeship training from the perspective of firms

    The Employment Policy Department held a seminar featuring Prof. Stefan C. Wolter, University of Bern, Department of Economics.

  5. Blog

    Skills for the future: Learning to learn through technology is the new skills visa

    Digital technologies are affecting many occupations, both jobs and tasks. The types of skills being demanded by employers are also changing, causing disruption in the task and skill profiles of traditional occupations, such as those in the manufacturing sector. The gig economy also emerged, with people working flexible hours, often producing deliverables with the help of technology.

  6. Podcast: Employment seminar series

    Future Skills and Educational Ecosystems for Societal Transformation: How to thrive in a complex world

    What are the new and emerging skills? Do current training and education models stand a chance? What has to change? These were among the questions discussed during the Employment Policy Department seminar with Dr. Pavel Luksha, the founder of Global Education Futures, held on 7 December, 2018.

  7. A joint ILO/UNESCO report

    Taking a whole of government approach to skills development

    The publication focuses primarily on the interaction between government ministries and agencies at national and subnational levels, examining how governments can work to coordinate technical and vocational education and development (TVET) and skills development across relevant policy domains.

  8. Issue Brief 8

    Skills policies and systems for a future workforce

    This Issue Brief is part of the Future of Work briefs prepared by the ILO. It provides an overview of skills requirements for the future of work and considers how skills development systems might be transformed to meet these needs. The brief also raises questions about the financing of lifelong learning, as well as about the respective responsibilities of governments, enterprises and workers.

  9. Skills for Employment Policy Briefs

    Policy Briefs in the series are authored by the technical specialists of the Skills and Employability Department and aim to present a short overview of particular areas related to skills development, policies and systems, and training.

Recent publications

  1. Working Paper

    Does work-based learning facilitate transitions to decent work?

    This paper examines the different forms of work-based learning, and takes stock of available data on the labour market impact such schemes where they exist. It finds evidence of positive impacts of formal structured work-based learning, and argues that future efforts should encourage engagement with private sector firms in creating and expanding such structured opportunities for young people.

  2. Skill needs anticipation

    Systems and approaches - Analysis of stakeholder survey on skill needs assessment and anticipation

    This publication is joint publication of the ILO, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the European Training Foundation (ETF) and the OECD.

  3. Apprenticeships

    A step-by-step guide to promote quality apprenticeships

    This publication was developed as part of the project entitled "EC-ILO action on youth employment policies: Enhancing capabilities of practitioners to design, implement and monitor youth employment policies - under the Council Recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee".

Events

  1. Event

    The 4th Regional Skills Technical Working Group (RSTWG) Meeting

    10-11 July, Manila Philippines

    The meeting aims to facilitate greater understanding of the evolving context of the mutual recognition of skills (MRS) implementation, and the sharing of experiences in a strengthening of the legislative framework and institutional capacity and arrangements of the MRS, among others.

  2. Event

    International Conference on Innovations in Apprenticeships: A skilled workforce for the Future

    4-5 July

    The ILO, in collaboration with the OECD and the GAN will organise the conference to share and promote innovative approaches to apprenticeships responding to contemporary challenges and provide opportunities to deepen collaboration among key actors of apprenticeships at global, regional and national levels.