News update

Colombo Process convened the first joint Thematic Area Working Group meeting on Skills and Qualification Recognition and Labour Market Analysis

Sri Lanka as the Chair of the Colombo Process Thematic Area Working Group (TAWG) on Skills and Qualification Recognition and Thailand as the Chair of the TAWG on Labour Market Analysis co-hosted a joint TAWG meeting on 23-24 January 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Article | Colombo, Sri Lanka | 13 February 2018
Participants for the thematic area working group
Under the theme of “Building synergy between Skills and Qualification Recognition and Labour Market Analysis”, a total of 64 Senior and Technical Officials from the twelve Member States of the Colombo Process and resource persons participated in the two-day meeting. Resource persons were invited from the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), key countries of destination, international organizations, and private sector.

The meeting was co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Given that the joint meeting also served as the second face-to-face meeting of both TAWGs, in the last session of the meeting, each TAWG met as a group, assessed progress towards their respective goals and key tasks, and identified priority points for future meetings. Salient points from the group discussions that were shared in the concluding plenary discussion included:
  • Both groups agreed that TAWG meetings are serving as a valuable platform for sharing experiences, concrete initiatives and researches among the Member States.
  • Members of the TAWG on Skills and Qualification Recognition shared that they will focus on linking the national, bilateral and regional efforts regarding qualification recognition frameworks, noting that bilateral/ corridor approaches may yield gains in the short-term compared to a regional approach. However, a feasibility study could be carried out to explore the process – likely beginning with benchmarking among countries of origin (COOs) and later linking with CODs.
  • Members of the TAWG on Labour Market Analysis stated that their priorities will be the baseline survey of Labour Market Information Systems of the Member States and the training workshop for labour attachés as the agreed joint activities. They also expressed desire for further engagement with CODs to cooperate in this thematic area.
The outcomes of the group discussions, including the above points, will feed into the respective TAWG Chair’s reporting at the next Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Colombo Process.