E-Discussion: Quality, Innovative Apprenticeships for the Future of Work

Organized by the ILO with support from partner organizations such as the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, the European Commission, the OECD, UNESCO and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN). The online discussion to be hosted on the Global Skills for Employment Knowledge Sharing Platform from 14 to 25 May 2018.

Global youth unemployment continues to be a major development issue, with nearly 70.9 million young people unemployed in 2017. In addition, youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Responding to the problem of youth unemployment (and by extension adult unemployment) is an issue of great concern and requires bringing to the forefront modern skills and employment policies that promote the creation of decent jobs as well as address skills mismatch. Within this context, giving youth a better start in the labour market is a key priority for many countries. The importance of achieving decent work has been highlighted in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Nos. 4 and 8, on promoting quality education and lifelong learning, and decent work and economic growth for all, respectively.

Widespread youth unemployment represents a social paradox: while many youth are looking for work, many employers cannot find workers with the skills they need. This type of skills mismatch is being accentuated significantly by the transformational changes buffeting the world of work. Traditional school-based vocational education and training systems face growing challenges to be more flexible and responsive in ensuring that young people are better equipped with the skills to take on new jobs today and in the future. Against this background, quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes are critical to meeting the challenge of the future world of work. Yet, despite numerous benefits afforded by apprenticeships, many countries, particularly developing ones, have challenges in establishing, scaling up and sustaining high-quality apprenticeships.

The E-Discussion aims to examine the role of quality apprenticeships, and other work-based learning programmes, as part of the solution to the challenge of youth unemployment and preparing workforce to the fast changing skills demands of the labour market.

The discussion will be moderated by Ashwani Aggarwal, ILO Senior Skills and Employability Specialist, with support from partner organizations and ILO colleagues. It provides an opportunity for specialists, practitioners, and representatives of a range of institutions and enterprises around the world to share their experiences, insights, stories and actions on: how apprenticeships benefit various stakeholders such as employers, trade unions, governments and apprentices; the impact of global transformational changes on labour markets and the role of apprenticeships in aligning skills supply to the future of work; challenges to establishing, scaling up and sustaining apprenticeships; and innovations needed to make apprenticeships more attractive for youth and employers.

Visit the Global Skills for Employment Knowledge Sharing Platform to join the conversation!