providing capacity-building and financial help


There is wide agreement on the broad principles that shape good training policies and
systems; but there are wide disparities in their application and outcomes.
In consequence there are good grounds for facilitating further exchanges of experiences, analysis and viewpoints to address some of the more intractable difficulties faced
in shaping good-quality training policies and achieving good outcomes. The database
constructed by the ILO Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (ILO/CINTERFOR) provides one example of a successful network of
vocational training institutions throughout Latin America that has maintained such an
exchange of information for more than 40 years.13
Training and development cooperation
The G20 leaders’ commitment to support training efforts extends beyond their own

They have also committed themselves to helping other countries undertake
effective skills development as a pathway out of poverty and towards more productive
and resilient economies.
According to OECD data on official development assistance (ODA) from 2002
to 2008, financial commitments to education from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries – bilateral donors – more than doubled over that period, reaching
US$83 billion. The share of total ODA directed to education averaged between 11 and
15 per cent annually. However, of the total funding for education, TVET claimed only
2 per cent on average.
Assistance to education from multilateral donors (development banks and the
UN) amounts to about a third of total funding from bilateral donors, reaching around
US$31 billion in 2008, of which TVET receives an even smaller share – 1 per cent on
On average, about two-fifths of the ODA destined for TVET targets low-income
countries (with three-fifths going to middle-income countries). ODA earmarked for
training has increased substantially since 2006, but most of that gain went to middleincome countries.
13 For example, see the ILO/CINTERFOR database of good practices in the Americas at:
Sharing knowledge
and experience
40 A Skilled Workforce for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth
There is ample scope to build on current development cooperation programmes
for skills development. Fruitful avenues could include engaging national institutions in
further exchange of experience, in particular in promotion of the training strategy for
strong, sustainable and balanced growth; integrating skills into national and sectoral
development strategies, in particular through the UN Common Development Framework system;

 providing capacity-building and financial help to expand the coverage
and the quality of education and training available to disadvantaged groups; upgrading
the informal apprenticeship systems which are the only means of acquiring skills available to most young people; and building skills into current “aid for trade” initiatives.
Less direct but potentially equally crucial forms of support are the sharing of
knowledge and new research. Ministries, as well as academic institutions, continue to
work on the intractable problems that call for better diagnostic tools and better understanding of policy experience: for example, keeping young people in school and work;
ensuring that education and training lead to improved employability; and positioning
learning in relation to work in such a way as to attract investment and stimulate job
growth. In addressing these and other imperatives,

 international organizations play an
important role in helping countries to develop and implement skills development policies and in evaluating their effectiveness.14
Continuing inter-agency collaboration, particularly between the ILO and the
OECD but in conjunction with other key agencies through the Inter-Agency Group
on TVET, could produce an analytical compendium on what works in applying the
conceptual framework and using the building blocks for effective skills development
for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
In a nutshell,

 the building blocks of any skills strategy must be solid foundation skills
and stronger links between the worlds of education and work.
This in turn requires good-quality education in childhood; good information on
changes in demand for skills; education and training systems that are responsive to
structural changes in economy and society; and recognition of skills and competencies,
and their greater utilization in the workplace. To be effective, policy initiatives in these
areas will also need to be closely linked with economic and social policy agendas.
14 For example, see the OECD’s publications on Jobs for youth (forthcoming), Learning for jobs and Skills beyond
school (forthcoming) (on post-secondary vocational education and training). The ILO will publish major reports on
skills for green jobs (with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)) and on the
implementation and impact of qualifications frameworks (based on research undertaken with the European Training
Foundation (ETF)) in 2010, and on skills and technology in 2011.
CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training). 2007.
Building a European VET area, Agora conference (Thessaloniki).
—. 2010. Skills supply and demand in Europe: Medium-term forecast up to 2020, Feb.
European Commission (EC). 2010. New skills for new jobs: Action now, report by the
Expert Group, Feb. (Brussels).

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