Developing an institutional framework for social dialogue

The issue: Why an effective institutional framework for social dialogue is necessary

Meaningful social dialogue is considered to be one of the six building blocks of quality apprenticeship systems. It is crucial for the successful development and implementation of policies as well as programmes. While social dialogue is covered in Toolkit 1, issues specifically relating to social dialogue for practitioners are discussed in this section.

At the national level, social dialogue is typically about developing policies, law and regulations, and qualification and quality assurance systems. At the sectoral level, social dialogue concerns developing sector skills plans, based on the assessment of skills needs and gaps. At the local level, social dialogue (between enterprises, TVET providers and other institutions) generally involves implementing and monitoring apprenticeship programmes.

An effective institutional framework that allows social partners to engage with each other and with the wider network of stakeholders at national, sectoral and local levels is a cornerstone of successful social dialogue. It enables social partners to become an integral part of the system and to play an active role in the development of quality apprenticeships. Institutional frameworks take various forms in different countries – tripartite, and also bipartite, bodies exist at the national, sectoral and local levels. Some examples are given in box 3.1; for further details, see chapter 5 of Toolkit 1.

Box 3.1 Examples of institutional frameworks

National level: BIBB (Germany), Central Apprenticeship Council (India).

Sectoral level: Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA, South Africa), S-System Councils – National Services for Industrial Training (SENAI, Brazil), sectoral consultative committees in INFOTEP (Dominican Republic).

Local level: Vocational Training Committees of Chambers (Germany).

Enterprise level: Rolls Royce has a Governance Board that sets the policies and the direction of the apprenticeship programme. It consists of the plant manager, the production leaders, the apprentice programme manager and the human resources manager and it sits three or four times a year. The Governance Board determines future needs for apprentices and interns, reviews the progress of each apprentice, resolves any major issues that may arise throughout the programme and considers any proposals for change.

Source: ILO, 2017; Information provided by Linda M. Hogan, learning adviser to Rolls Royce.