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. E-Discussion

    Quality, Innovative Apprenticeships for the Future of Work, 14 to 25 May

    This E-discussion invites skills development experts and practitioners, constituents, representatives of employers’ and workers’ organizations, academia and international organizations, among others, to discuss emerging trends, innovations, challenges and solutions and lessons learned on the topic of quality apprenticeships.

  2. 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.

  3. Blog: Skills and the Future of Work

    With the world of work facing transformative changes, investments in skills’ development and training are becoming more important than ever.

  4. Making TVET and skills systems inclusive of persons with disabilities

    This policy brief focuses on how mainstream Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and skills development systems can contribute to improving the labour market situation of persons with disabilities.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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. 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.

  2. 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".


  1. Global Forum on Migration and Development: Thematic workshop on skills and labour migration

    3 May, Geneva, Switzerland

    As part of the Global Forum on Migration and Development contribution to the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration (GCM), a thematic workshop on skills and labour migration, will be held on 3 May.

  2. ITC/ILO Skills needs anticipation and matching

    16-20 April 2018, Turin

    This course discusses the underlying principles, general methodologies and different approaches that can assist national policy-makers, experts and stakeholders in analysing and identifying present and future skills needs.

  3. 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.