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. Survey

    ILO-UNESCO-World Bank survey for TVET providers, policy-makers and social partners on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic

    The purpose of this survey is to gather information on good practices and to allow knowledge sharing, with the aim of helping countries around the world mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of education and training.

  2. Lifelong learning in the informal economy: A literature review

    This literature review aims to provide an update to current debates on how to bridge the gap for informal economy workers to access and participate in relevant and quality skills development and recognition throughout their lives, identifies research gaps and provides recommendations for future programming.

  3. Project

    Skills Challenge Innovation Call: Finding solutions to skills mismatch

    The first Skills Challenge Innovation Call will recognize and support the development of solutions that aim to address the different forms and dimensions of skills mismatch.

  4. ILO Global Report

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

    Based on 32 country studies

  5. Publication

    Skills and jobs mismatches in low- and middle-income countries

    This publication reviews literature and produces new analysis using data on educational mismatch from 60 low- and middle-income countries, assessing the extent to which mismatch is correlated with factors such as productivity, labour force participation, unemployment and informality.

  6. ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships - Vol. 1: Guide for Policy Makers

    The ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships is a resource to improve the design and implementation of apprenticeship systems and programmes. It provides a comprehensive but concise set of key information, guidance and practical tools for policy-makers and practitioners who are engaged in designing and implementing Quality Apprenticeships.

  7. SKILLS for Employment Policy Brief

    Quality Apprenticeships: Addressing skills mismatch and youth unemployment

    This policy brief presents an overview of quality apprenticeships promoted by the ILO through outlining their key characteristics, benefits and challenges, as well as examining the building blocks and policy pointers for developing a successful quality apprenticeship system.

  8. 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".