Published on 14th September 2018
Early September, the Argentinian city of Mendoza became the future of work capital as Education and Employment Ministers were meeting to advance the G20’s agenda on this topic – one of the priorities for Argentina as the current Presidency. Alongside the official program, trade unions, employers’ representatives, youth organisations and many other stakeholders ran multiple events to discuss how labour markets should adapt to new work realities in order to deliver prosperity and social progress.
So what do they bring back from those discussions? Erol Kiresepi is the president of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE). Representing the national employers organizations on the global level, the IOE stands for the business community at the International Labour Organization (ILO) and high-level forums such as the G20 and is thus a close partner to the World Employment Confederation and its members.
Acknowledging the need and existence of diverse forms of work is an essential feature for future-proof labour markets. How can we [employers’ organisations] work with international organisations like the G20 to make sure the labour markets are truly inclusive?
With people aging, raising labour market participation and allowing for all to join – especially women – is key to bridging the skills gaps. For social partners and policy-makers this is not just a challenge of inclusiveness, but also an issue of making sure that learning and social protection systems are sustainable and contribute to an employable labour force. By creating diverse forms of decent work, we allow people a way to work and develop in ways that suits his or her personal wishes and needs, at every point in one’s life-phase. This is the way to create open, dynamic and inclusive labour markets.
For the first time in G20’s history, the Education and Employment Ministers held a joint meeting. Is such a more integrated approach the recipe for success?
In the past one skillset would last a working career. Kids in school now are learning for jobs and tasks that we cannot begin to imagine. Not to mention that more and more jobs will require an ever-growing set of IT skills. With skills demand changing more profoundly and more often, strengthening the ties between employment and education policies on all levels is key to make sure that people will learn the right skills, and are able to re-learn when the demand for skills change over the course of their careers.
To what extent this approach is a recipe for success depends on the implementation of the outcomes and commitments. Previous G20 commitments have not been implemented as well as we would have liked it. Yet, global policy-makers increasingly recognize the profound labour market challenges lying ahead and we are confident that they will cooperate with workers and businesses to make them work for all.
The Employment Ministers’ conclusions are a positive and forward-looking contribution to the discussions on the future of work and concur with some of the main objectives of the private employment industry: