Skills and employability

The Arab uprisings have created a renewed sense of urgency for ILO constituents to facilitate the access of young women and men to decent work. While the region’s economies still grapple with structural issues, business investments need to be matched with market relevant skills to lead to economic growth and decent work. In the wake of these uprisings, governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations have taken significant steps to enhance the employability of young men and women.

The ILO Response

The ILO’s interventions are based on Human Resources Development Recommendation, 2004 (No. 195), the conclusions on skills for improved productivity, employment growth and development of the International Labour Conference (2008), as well as the ILO’s Call for Action on Youth Employment (2012).

The ILO’s activities to enhance market relevant skills and improve employability include:

  • Anticipating future skills needs;
  • participation of social partners;
  • sectoral approaches;
  • labour market information and employment services;
  • training quality and relevance;
  • gender equality;
  • broad access to training;
  • fair and efficient training finance; and
  • assessing policy performance.

Focus Areas in the Arab States

Within the framework of the ILO response, the ILO Regional Office for Arab States provides policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge development in seven technical areas:

  • Governance of skills development systems: The ILO complements the capacity building efforts of the European Training Foundation (ETF) by strengthening the tripartite governance of skills development systems, and by proposing a model of competency based human resources linking skills with productivity and wages. See more...
     
  • Skills anticipation: The ILO works with governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations to pilot its Strategies and Tools for Export and Economic Diversification (ILO STED) technical assistance tool and adapt it to the context of the Arab States. See more...
     
  • Competency Based Training: Based on previous ILO experience in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, the ILO has developed a new Competency-Based Training (CBT) manual for the Arab region. It now supports a team of regional trainers for it and pilots the manual as part of various technical cooperation projects. See more...
     
  • Apprenticeships: The ILO is supporting Arab apprenticeship systems by upgrading informal apprenticeships through the piloting and adaptation of a methodology tested in Africa, strengthening the legal and policy frameworks related to apprenticeships, piloting new models, and documenting the impact of successful apprenticeship programmes. See more...
     
  • Monitoring and evaluation: The ILO supports Technical Vocational Education and Training boards and institutions in the design and piloting of enhanced monitoring and evaluation systems while also conducting impact assessments of projects that feed into policy recommendations. See more...
     
  • Persons with disabilities: The ILO shares good practices with Arab employers related to developing the skills of people with disabilities and for accommodate their needs in the workplace. Steps have also been taken to increase the outreach of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network in the region. See more...
     
  • Employment services: The ILO’s support to employment services in the region focuses on providing technical support to public employment services and private recruitment agencies, as well as to support the establishment of emergency employment service centres as a part of post-crisis response. See more...