Employment and Education are among the G20’s top priorities. According to ILO projections, unemployment was expected to rise by 3.4 million people by 2017 and by 2.7 million in 2018. Even though the increase percentage is small, in figures this translates into more than 200 million people that are currently unemployed. Vulnerable employment remains almost stagnant and a widening income inequality has been a cause for analysis and concern.
The need to create new jobs for an increasingly growing population combined with the mismatch of skills required in the IV industrial revolution poses a dramatic challenge.
The future of work requires foundational core skills which now include ICT (information and communications technology) literacy but also competencies for approaching complex challenges and character qualities to deal with a changing environment, as depicted by the OECD.
Equity starts with high-quality public education coverage, but it needs to be realistically aligned with future jobs.
It becomes self-evident that private-public cooperation is more relevant than ever, with a joint approach that anticipates the demand for skills and the updating of occupational structures in accordance with new business models and requirements, and at the same time it helps foster innovation.
Lifelong learning is facilitated by digitalization, opening new alternatives for education infrastructure such as OER (open educational resources) and MOOC (massive open online courses), but in fact they remain underutilized because of poor basic digital skills and inadequate digital infrastructure, as reported by the OECD earlier this year.
Another main structural constraint is informal employment. Nine out of ten young workers in low-income countries and two thirds of young workers in middle-income countries are employed informally. ILO reports that in many emerging economies new jobs are predominantly created in the informal sector.
B20 needs to cooperate with G20 leaders for decent, better employment opportunities, helping people out of poverty, decreasing inequality and ensuring sustainability.