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

    Continuing online learning and skills development in times of the COVID-19 crisis

    This discussion aims to share and discuss how to maintain continued learning and skills building for students and workers in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic which we all now face.

  2. 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.

  3. ILO Global Report

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

    Based on 32 country studies

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Concept Paper

    Lifelong learning: Concepts, issues and actions

    Following the landmark report of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, many questions have been raised about the concept of lifelong learning (LLL), the issues that surround it and the actions that the ILO can take to address it. This paper introduces readers to these debates and provides a useful introduction to the concept and the challenges that need to be addressed if the vision for LLL of the Global Commission can be achieved.

  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. Brochure

    Skills and Employability

    This brochure provides an overview of the main areas of work of the Skills and Employability Branch of the Employment Policy Department.

  9. 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.

  10. 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".