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. Guide

    ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships - Vol. I: Guide for Policy Makers

    The toolkit provides state of the art information and guidance for the design and implementation of quality apprenticeship schemes across different contexts. The new guide was introduced by the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder during the launch of the engagement platform of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, held on 29 November 2017. 

  2. Information Note: Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE)

    This Information Note presents the ILO's TREE which aims to promote rural employment using a community-based approach to skills development.

  3. 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.

  4. Skills and trade

    Book launch: "Investing in Skills for Inclusive Trade"

    The publication, co-published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Labour Office (ILO), builds on previous collaboration between the two organizations. It focuses on the linkages between trade and skills and between trade and skills development policies.

  5. 11-12 May 2017

    International Conference on Jobs and Skills Mismatch

    This conference aimed to deepen understanding of the labour market effects of various types of skill mismatch and how they can be best measured in different country contexts. It included ILO research and also presented the work of other partner international organizations.(Presentations now available on the event page.)

Recent publications

  1. New updated version

    STED brochure

    May 2017

    The brochure presents the rationale for this type of intervention, discusses some practical aspects of implementation, and explains the analytical process underlying STED. It also provides a brief overview of the experience so far with STED, in eleven countries and nineteen sectors.

  2. Strengthening Skills Recognition Systems: Recommendations for key stakeholders

    December 2016

    The ILO has prepared this set of Recommendations on strengthening skills recognition systems, as countries seek strategies to enhance the employability of workers and the productivity of enterprises.

  3. Understanding the potential impact of skills recognition systems on labour markets: Research report

    October 2016

    Provides analytical research on the labour market impact of skills recognition systems, in particular, in matching skills and jobs.

  4. Vocational teachers and trainers in a changing world: the imperative of high-quality teacher training systems

    16 July 2015


  1. ILO International Symposium

    Jobs and Skills Mismatch – Job-rich growth for Sustainable Development

    27-28 November 2017, Geneva

    The symposium is part of the work of the ILO Employment Department under its Global Product on Jobs and Skills Mismatch. It follows an earlier conference, held in May, which looked at the labour market impact and policy implications of various forms of skill mismatch.

  2. The ILO and the United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP23

    6 - 17 November 2017.