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. ILO Global Report

    Skills for a greener future: a global view - Full report

    Based on 32 country studies

  2. Skills for Employment Policy Brief

    Skills for a greener future: Challenges and enabling factors to achieve a just transition

    This policy brief draws the attention of policy-makers, social partners, training providers and civil society organizations in both developed and developing countries to the essential role of skills development policies in advancing the sustainable transition to a greener future.

  3. Discussion paper

    Intermediary organizations in apprenticeship systems

    This discussion paper highlights different ways of classifying interme­diary organizations, provides examples of different types of intermediary organisations and examines the different roles they can play to support the effective operation of apprenticeship systems.

  4. Discussion Paper

    Understanding the non-marketable benefits of apprenticeships in South African enterprises

    This discussion paper provides examples of different types of intermediary organisations and examines the different roles they can play to support the effective operation of apprenticeship systems.

  5. Policy Brief

    Workers' organizations engaging in skills development

    This policy brief highlights ILO support for the engagement of workers organisations in skills development policies and systems. It also provides examples of engagement at the national sectoral and enterprise levels and proposes priority areas for workers organisations as they engage in skills development in the future. 

  6. Concept Paper

    Lifelong learning: Concepts, issues and actions

    Following the landmark report of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, many questions have been raised about the concept of lifelong learning (LLL), the issues that surround it and the actions that the ILO can take to address it. This paper introduces readers to these debates and provides a useful introduction to the concept and the challenges that need to be addressed if the vision for LLL of the Global Commission can be achieved.

  7. A joint ILO/IOE publication

    Tools for Quality Apprenticeships: a Guide for Enterprises

    This guide aims to show, through actual examples which are used day in and day out by employers in the real world, how enterprises manage the various processes which need to be undertaken to deliver a successful apprenticeship programme.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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".