ILO and WTO have recently co-published the book: “Investing in Skills for Inclusive Trade” focused on the linkages between trade and skills and between trade and skills development policies. The publication has been presented on 4 July during a conference at the WTO headquarter in Geneva by Roberto Azevêdo and Guy Ryder, respectively WTO and ILO Director-General.
According to the study, national skills development systems able to match skills supply to demand are crucial to improve each country’s competitive position in the current global economy scenario and to support inclusive development. Enhancing the skills of a country’s workforce lifts the export performance of its enterprises and better prepares them to meet foreign competition in the domestic market.
The authors outline that addressing the need for developing a more competitive workforce is a long-term process. Continuing education and training at universities, in TVET, and on-the-job training can help workers and managers cope with the big changes in demand for skills which are in varying degrees triggered by globalization. In support to these arguments, the book shows evidence of a range of policy approaches which have helped countries in responding effectively to these challenges.
Major concepts expressed in the book by WTO and ILO economists include:
- Skills development is key to more inclusive trade
- The level and composition of skills in a country affect its participation in trade
- Trade affects the demand for skills in several ways
- Trade affects the wage distribution by increasing the returns to skills
- An appropriate skills supply increases gains from trade and improves their distribution
- Available responses
As a key stakeholder in the Australian TVET sector and as a consultant to the TVET authorities of a number of African and Asian countries, Sustainable Skills has extensive experience supporting Governments and Industry to build effective TVET systems able to match skills supply to demand and to ensure each country’s inclusive economical and social development.