Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification (STED)

The Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AFTIAS) provides a platform for targeted trade reforms at regional and country levels. It is a partnership of twenty-two Arab countries (members of the League of Arab States "LAS"), and five UN agencies ILO, ITC, UNIDO, UNCTAD and UNDP. The ILO implements the STED methodology for the selected sectors.

Donor (Phase 1): Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Islamic Development Bank, The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)

(Phase 2): The Islamic Development Finance Cooperation (ITFC) through the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AFTIAS)

Participating UN agencies (Phase 1)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Trade Center (ITC)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Implementing Agency (Phase 2): ILO

Geographical area of implementation:  Egypt and Tunisia

Contact (s):  Christine Hoffman, Skills Development Specialist
Contact for Tunisia: Karim Toumi, STED National Project Coordinator

Project Background

In today’s rapidly changing and highly integrated world, skills at all levels of the firm become more and more critical for performance and competitiveness. Globalization and technological change continue to increase the demand for skills and adaptation of workers to new challenges through life-long learning.

As an Initiative of the Islamic Development Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AFTIAS) was developed, in collaboration with the United Nations development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). AFTIAS aims to contribute to the development response for an “Inclusive economic growth with increased employment opportunities and greater competitiveness through trade policy reforms in the Arab states as an integral part of the regional trade and economic integration agenda".

The ILO implements the STED methodology for the selected sectors as the ILO component.

Implementation Strategy

STED is a methodology developed by the ILO that provides strategic guidance for the integration of skills development in sectoral policies. It is designed to support growth and decent employment creation in sectors that have the potential to increase exports and to contribute to economic diversification.

STED takes a forward looking perspective, anticipating a sector’s development and growth opportunities based on its global competitive position and market development. Together with an analysis of current skills supply and demand, this provides an outlook of existing and future skills shortages.

Thus, STED supports the formation of skills for which there is demand in the labour market and helps to avoid skill mismatches that contribute to unemployment, in particular among the young.

The outcomes of STED are concrete recommendations at the policy, institutional, and enterprise level. The process involved in designing those recommendations contributes to improvements on the ground by raising awareness and stimulating dialogue on skills development among key stakeholders within a sector.

Through the fast track work plan in 2014, the ILO developed and validated skills strategy and STED reports in Egypt for two export sectors (food processing and furniture sectors). As the first phase of AfTIAS is set to expire by the end of 2016, the ILO is currently supporting implementation of selected priority actions based on the two sectors review to narrow identified skills gaps in Egypt. In Tunisia, the ILO will support the implementation of the whole STED process including the design of a skills strategy for two sectors and the concretization of some selected recommendations to close identified skills gaps.

Implementing Partners

Partners in Egypt:

Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Manpower, Federation of Egyptian Industries (Food Chamber and Furniture Chamber) and workers’ organizations.

Partners in Tunisia:

Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of employment and vocational Training, Agrofood Technical Centre, Technical Center for Mechanical and Electrical Industries, Export Promotion Center, workers' organizations and employers' organizations.

Target Beneficiaries

In Egypt

  • Food processing sector.
  • Furniture sector.

In Tunisia

  • Food processing sector.
  • Metallurgical and metallic construction sector.

Objectives and Outcomes

Phase 1:

  • Contribute to higher exports, economic diversification and more and better jobs.
  • Help policy makers to ensure that firms find workers with the right skills and workers acquire the skills needed to find productive employment.

Phase 2:
For Tunisia:

The objective for Tunisia is to apply the whole STED process. This includes all the analytical steps to arrive at concrete recommendations at the policy, institutional, and enterprise level to improve job matching, as well as the overall incentive system (taxes, subsidies, etc.) and to enhance consistency between trade, investment, labour market and skills policies. Following the analytical phase, the project will support the implementation of a number of these recommendations in collaboration with stakeholders.

Outcomes

1. Design an evidence-based skills development strategy for trade promotion and economic diversification in two priority export sectors in Tunisia, applying the STED analysis.
Output 1.1. Sectors selected for STED analysis.
Output 1.2. Skill needs analyzed for both export sectors following STED methodology.
Output 1.3. Skills development strategy drafted for two export sectors.

2. Build capacity of national and sector-level stakeholders in Tunisia to close identified skills gaps to increase exports and economic diversification.
Output 2.1. Stakeholder capacities built to narrow identified skills gaps in the first selected export sector.
Output 2.2. Stakeholder capacities built to narrow identified skills gaps in the second selected export sector.

For Egypt:

The main outcome of this stage is to implement priority actions to narrow identified skills gaps in the two selected sectors in Egypt. The long term impact of the project is to enhance exports and expand opportunities for the creation of decent employment in the selected export sectors.

Outcome 3:
Implement priority actions to narrow identified skills gaps in the two selected sectors in Egypt.

Specified outputs include the following:
Output 3.1: Selected companies supported in both sectors to increase exports, productivity, and competitiveness.
Output 3.2: One initial TVET curriculum for the food sector updated.
Output 3.3: Training of trainers to strengthen continuing training in identified priority skills in the furniture sector.
Output 3.4: Career information improved for both sectors.
Output 3.5: Development of large programme.

 For further information, please contact:

Ms. Christine Hoffman, Skills Development Specialist

9, Taha Hussein St., Zamalek, 11211 Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 27 350 123(+202) 27 350 123
Fax: (+202) 27 360 889
        (+202) 27 362 358(+202) 27 362 358