44th Technical Committee Meeting of ILO-CINTERFOR

Vocational training for the future of work: the challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean

The main Meeting on vocational training in the region will be held this week in Uruguay with more than 200 delegates from 20 countries. The Technical Committee of ILO/Cinterfor will address the challenges posed by the present and future of work.

News | 06 August 2019
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – The need to promote transformation and innovation in the development of human talent in Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to respond to the challenges of the present and future of work, will be addressed during a Meeting of the region’s main vocational training institutions that begins today in Montevideo, Uruguay.

More than 200 representatives from 50 institutions from 20 countries are expected at the 44th Meeting of the Technical Committee of ILO/Cinterfor (Inter-American Center for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training). Debate, exchange of experiences, and Identification of collaboration opportunities are part of the agenda of the three-day event.

"Never before has vocational training occupied such a prominent place," said ILO/Cinterfor Director Enrique Deibe, referring to the fact that it has become a key piece both to face the challenges of the future of work, and to solve the structural challenges in labour markets.

"The central theme of the debate is how to adapt the vocational training processes to the new needs of the labour market," he added.

A Report prepared by ILO/Cinterfor for this week’s Meeting highlights that while there is extensive experience in vocational training in the region, new challenges related to the future of work make it imperative that “change and innovation should be considered among the most important mandates of the region".

One of those challenges is to address the “skills gap” that exists in the region, which is manifested not only by the current mismatches between supply and demand in the labour market, but also by "quickly outdated competencies" as a result of the rapid transformations experienced by the world of work.

"Currently, vocational training institutions are challenged not only to respond quickly and effectively to existing demands, but also to have mechanisms for anticipating demands of human resources,” said Deibe.

This includes both the need to support the existence of more appropriate qualifications to respond to the challenges of the future of work, as well as to the requalification of workers that allow maintaining the insertion of people in labour markets through lifelong learning and education initiatives throughout life.

Additionally, Deibe advised that it will be necessary to act quickly to face a future that will demand training capabilities to cover "many jobs that do not yet exist".

It is anticipated that the Montevideo Meeting will also allow the exchange of international experiences, sharing information on new learning and training methodologies, as well as new pedagogical practices.

In Latin America and the Caribbean there are about 10,100 vocational training centres. Although the number is notable, their managing institutions face both the challenge of improving coverage, reaching places that are difficult to access, diversifying offerings and improving the quality of the knowledge imparted.

At the same time, vocational training institutions must play a leading role in taking on challenges such as promoting greater equity from labour markets, achieving greater gender equality, addressing the challenge of increasing migration. In the case of young people, it is essential to improve opportunities when entering the world of work.

“It is important to consider human talent as an objective and at the same time as a means to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” added the Director of ILO / Cinterfor.

Deibe also emphasizes that an essential component of vocational training is social dialogue, which is part of the governance schemes of the institutions, and through which training policies are designed to “meet criteria of quality, relevance, equity and sustainability”.

ILO / Cinterfor, founded in 1963, articulates and coordinates the largest network of entities and institutions, public and private, dedicated to strengthening labour competencies. This network, includes more than 65 entities from 27 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the participation of Spain and Africa.

The Technical Commission of ILO / Cinterfor is the forum for representatives of national organizations specialized in human resources training and development of ILO member States in the region to examine and discuss current training issues, exchange experiences and propose new cooperation activities of interest.

The Commission is made up of the highest leaders responsible for the formation of Governments, Employers’ Organizations, Workers' Organizations and national institutions that are specialized in the training and development of human resources, associated with ILO / Cinterfor. It meets every two years.