G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting

ILO Director-General praises G20 commitment on future of work

The rapid changes affecting the world of work, as well as the need to reshape lifelong learning, strengthen social protection and leave no one behind, were at the centre of discussions at the G20 Labour Ministers’ meeting in Argentina. Ministers of Education joined them for the first time.

Press release | Mendoza, Argentina | 07 September 2018
© G20 Argentina
MENDOZA, Argentina (ILO News) – ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, has welcomed the commitment by G20 Labour and Employment Ministers, to promote decent work for an inclusive future.

“I particularly welcome the emphasis on efforts to shape an equitable and inclusive Future of Work, one that leaves no one behind. I am also pleased to see a strong commitment to innovative employment and social policies, particularly those that address skills gaps and accelerate progress towards gender equality in a rapidly changing world of work,” Ryder said, in response to the Declaration agreed by ministers at the end of the two-day meeting in Argentina.

In their Declaration, Fostering opportunities for an inclusive, fair and sustainable future of work, ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote innovative skills policies, strengthen social protection and formalize labour markets to make them more equitable and inclusive.

Ministers endorsed the “G20 Strategy to eradicate child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery in the world of work,” committed to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in the labour market and recognised the need to enable women to participate equally in the digital economy.

“These challenges demand global solutions. Multilateralism remains a potent force that is uniquely suited to resolve many of the world's most pressing problems. Furthermore, multilateral fora like the G20 need to prioritize their responses to inequality and go beyond economic growth policies alone. Together we can and must build a new international consensus in favour of growth and development, and against poverty and unemployment,” Ryder stressed.

The Declaration calls on G20 members to ensure that everyone benefits from the opportunities that will be created in the future of work. It also recognizes the critical role that social protection plays in achieving this and highlights the need to put people and work at the forefront of national strategies for sustainable growth.

The front-loading of qualifications for a whole lifetime is not sufficient anymore. This calls for revisiting the model of lifelong learning, to create the future of work we want."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
In addition, the Declaration emphasises the need to promote economic and social policy coherence in order to secure a fair, inclusive and sustainable future of work. Decent work, inclusiveness, gender equality and the protection of fundamental principles and rights at work are also necessary, it states. Effective social dialogue between governments and the social partners is seen as key to achieving these goals.

Focus on lifelong learning for the future of work

The head of the ILO also welcomed the initiative of the Argentine presidency to hold the first–ever G20 meeting bringing together Labour and Education ministers.

In the resultant Joint Declaration, ministers stated that coordination between education and employment policies is vital in order to ensure that the skills of workers match those that are demanded by enterprises.

Reacting to the Joint Declaration, Ryder said: “To meet the skills development needs of the future, traditional education and training systems have to undergo major adjustments. The front-loading of qualifications for a whole lifetime is not sufficient anymore. This calls for revisiting the model of lifelong learning, to create the future of work we want.”

The Joint Declaration underscores the importance of promoting opportunities for people to re-skill and up-skill throughout their working lives, so that they can successfully adapt to changes in the workplace. It also re-states the commitment made by G20 countries to reduce the gender gap in access to education and skills.

Both Declarations will be presented to the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in Buenos Aires from 30 November to 1 December.