Skills policies, systems and digitalization

The ILO works with member states to reform and strengthen their national skills policies and improve their training systems.

Now more than ever, coordinated efforts are needed to build integrated national approaches to skills development so that individuals, enterprises and society can access the skills they need and deploy them in a way that benefits us all.

Skills development has been recognised as a key global priority by governments, social partners and international organisations who now also need to combine their efforts to strengthen national skills policies and systems to support achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ILO work in this area supports governments and social partners to improve policy, planning, governance and regulation in skills systems; to increase the involvement of employers' and workers' organisations in skills development and to improve the quality and relevance of skills development to support economic and social development.

Improving linkages between education and training institutions and workplaces can improve skills development along value chains, help manage the drivers of change at work today and integrate skills development into national and sector development strategies.

Our research and technical assistance on skills policies and systems includes work on:

Key Resources

  1. R195 Human Resources Development Recommendation, 2004

    17 June 2004

    Recommendation concerning Human Resources Development: Education, Training and Lifelong Learning

  2. Learning and training for work in the knowledge society. Report 91 IV (1)

    04 February 2002

    Explores contemporary trends in human resources development and training. Examines the shift towards economies and societies that increasingly rely on human knowledge and skills in producing goods and services and reviews the new objectives of education and training. Investigates reforms in education and training systems and examines policies and practices that encourage more and better training opportunities for employed and unemployed workers and those with special needs. Looks at international cooperation and donor policies in this area.

  3. The implementation and impact of National Qualifications Frameworks: Report of a study in 16 countries

    21 October 2010

  4. Report V - Skills for improved productivity, employment growth and development

    15 April 2008

  5. Conclusions on skills for improved productivity, employment growth and development

    13 June 2008

    International Labour Conference, 2008

  6. An introductory guide to national qualifications frameworks : conceptual and practical issues for policy makers

    01 January 2007

    Provides guidance on how to design and implement National Qualifications Frameworks, an instrument for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies along a continuum of agreed levels.

  7. Managing vocational training systems

    18 January 2000

    Provides state-of-art materials relating to the management and organization of public vocational education and training (VET) systems and suggests a framework for developing the management competence of senior VET administrators encouraging them to review critically their administrative practices in order to move towards professional excellence. Covers management, organizational structure, target setting, planning, financing, and training administration.

  8. Supporting workplace learning for high performance working

    11 June 2002

    Explores workplace learning as a means of enhancing both work performance and the quality of working life. Identifies characteristics of high performance work organizations, considers the implementation of high performance work practices and investigates how far these practices are embedded in different countries. Examines ways in which public policy can be used to encourage organizations to make more effective use of the skills of their employees.