ILO Solution on Skills Development, Youth Employment in the Framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation



1. Introduction

The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008) and the Global Jobs Pact (2009) highlight skills development as central to improving productivity, employability and social inclusion. The Human Resources Development Recommendation, 2004 (No. 195) provides guidance on the content of effective skills policies and systems. The Conclusions on skills for improved productivity, employment growth and development adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 97th Session in 2008 establish a strategy for skills development. The ILO Solution Forum aims to present development solutions relevant to youth and women employment in the framework of South-South and triangular cooperation. Particularly, the Forum will aim to provide results-based presentations and scalable southern development solutions and will ensure that employment decent work and social inclusion for youth and women are integral parts of any sustainable development strategy. It will also focus on skills and education policies to facilitate job transition and improve employability, including equitable outcomes for vulnerable groups such as women, girls and youth.  It aims at building partnerships to support tackling the youth employment crisis.



a) Objectives

To facilitate and promote discussion on South-South and triangular partnerships, including:

  • How can these partnerships best be supported and scaled up, given the changing global economic, social and environmental context considering the decent work agenda, skills development and youth employment?
  • How can the development community maximize the impact of South-South and triangular cooperation for evidence-based decision-making and policy planning taking into consideration skills development and a decent work perspective?

The ILO Solution Forum aims to present development solutions relevant to youth and women employment in the framework of South-South and triangular cooperation. Particularly, the Forum will aim to provide results-based presentations and scalable southern development solutions and will ensure that employment decent work and social inclusion for youth and women are integral parts of any sustainable development strategy. It will also focus on skills and education policies to facilitate job transition and improve employability, including equitable outcomes for vulnerable groups such as women, girls and youth.  It aims at building partnerships to support tackling the youth employment crisis.


b) Structure

The solution forum will be conducted in an interactive manner, combining presentation of the applied development solutions from technical experts in the field of youth and women employment. Three hours will dedicated for this forum. At the end the moderator will summarize the discussions and will provide closing remarks including possible recommendations on how to strengthen regional policy cohesion to promote youth employment through awareness raising, vocational training, pilot projects for the transfer of knowledge on employability strategies, among others. The summary report with recommendations will be developed after the forum and will be available for all the participants of the forum and on the web.


2. ILO and GSSD

The ILO has been actively involved in the GSSD since 2009 and hosted the 2010 Expo at ILO Headquarters in Geneva. The ILO has been active promoting decent work solutions in the different Expos, devoted to Social Protection (Geneva, 2010), Food Security (Rome, 2011) and Energy (Vienna, 2012) [1]; Environmental Sustainability and Green Jobs (Nairobi, 2013); SDG and South-South (Washington, 2014); Agenda 2030 and SSTC (Dubai, 2016). In the framework of the GSSD 2017, the ILO will organize a Solution Forum encompassing a series of good practices and lessons learned on South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) on the theme of Youth Employment. Involving representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organisations will contribute to address the issue from different perspectives and with an integrated approach. The latter will allow combining and better understanding the interrelation of fundamental principles and rights at work, labour standards, employment creation, social protection mechanisms, and social dialogue in strategies tackling youth employment. With the rise of new mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation among developing countries, the development solutions that will be showcased in this forum represent essential tools that bring new technology and capacity (i.e. transfers of know-how, technology, and exchanges of information), which can be utilized in the fight against youth unemployment. The ILO has a publication on the GSSD expos that can be found in—dgreports/—exrel/documents/publication/wcms_244336.pdf


3. Skills Development and Youth Employment: An Overview of the Current Challenges

Skills development plays an important role in supporting sustainable development. Skills enhances productivity and resource efficiency at the macro level. It facilitates jobseekers’ access to employment, which helps reduce poverty in a sustainable manner. Nevertheless, unequal access to skills development opportunities and modest labour market relevance of skills development leave full benefit of skills development untapped. This two-day elective module encourages the participants to discuss skills development issues through interactive sessions.

This workshop pays particular attention to the resource constraints and a limited administrative capacity of the existing public vocational/professional education and training systems that confront many of the developing countries. Our discussions in the thematic module therefore will highlight the importance of promoting demand-driven skills training through effective partnerships.

The ILO report “World Employment Social Outlook, Trends for Youth 2016” [2], state that the fragile economic outlook is putting further pressure on the already weak labour market prospects of youth around the globe. The prospects are particularly worrying for youth, where the unemployment rate reached 13.1 per cent in 2016 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015) after the moderate signs of improvement registered between 2013 and 2015. This translates into an estimated 71 million unemployed youth worldwide in 2016 – half a million more than the previous year. In addition, it is estimated that some 156 million employed youth, or 37.7 per cent of working youth, in emerging and developing countries are living in extreme or moderate poverty in 2016 [3]. Lowering youth unemployment by improving access to stable work opportunities remains the key objective in developed countries, where the youth unemployment rate is expected to remain at the highest level in global terms – at 14.5 per cent in 2016 and 14.3 per cent in 2017 – despite continuing its downward trend, which started in 2013 when youth unemployment was close to 17.5 per cent. The youth unemployment rate in emerging countries is set to rise from its 2015 level to reach 13.6 per cent in 2016 and 13.7 per cent in 2017 – translating into an additional 0.6 million unemployed youth compared to 2015.


4. Global Framework for Addressing the Youth Employment Crisis and the Potential of SSTC

In June 2012 during the 101st Session of the ILC, the ILO adopted a Resolution calling for immediate, targeted, and renewed action to tackle the youth employment crisis: The Youth employment crisis: A call for action [4] complementing the Resolution and conclusions concerning youth employment that were adopted by the ILC in 2005. A number of proposals for ILO action on youth employment have been inserted in this ILC resolution, including establishing “mechanisms to review and disseminate good practices on youth employment interventions, including through mutual learning and South–South cooperation”. Moreover, the conclusions prioritize five policy areas aimed at creating pro-employment growth and decent jobs:

  • employment and economic policies to increase aggregate demand and improve access to finance
  • education and training to ease the school-to-work transition
  • labour market policies to target employment of disadvantaged youth
  • entrepreneurship and self-employment to assist potential young entrepreneurs
  • labour rights that are based on international labour standards to ensure that young people receive equal treatment and are afforded rights at work.

During the 316th Session of the ILO Governing Body in November 2012, a seven-year Follow-up Plan was endorsed giving effect to the provisions of the aforementioned Resolution. The Plan aims at increasing ILO’s capacity to provide global leadership and act as a centre of excellence on youth employment, enhance its capacity in the five policy areas of the 2012 ILC Resolution, and expand action on knowledge development and dissemination, technical assistance, and partnerships and advocacy for decent work for youth. Moreover, its three strategic pillars are: knowledge development and dissemination, technical assistance and capacity building, and partnerships and advocacy. Finally, it was emphasized the need to explore “opportunities to extend South–South and triangular collaboration to include youth employment” as called for by the resolution [5].

The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth was launched in 2016, and it is a unique collaboration and partnership platform to join efforts to tackle the youth employment challenge and assist Member States in targeting and delivering on a crucial goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Investments to support young people in the labour market have increased worldwide since the economic crisis. Yet, there is still limited coordination and insufficient scale to address the full dimension of the youth employment challenge. To enhance harmonization and collaboration and to scale-up investments and impact, the Global Initiative acts as the catalyst for global, coordinated action. This strong focus on action is intertwined with three key elements: a multi stakeholder alliance, a knowledge platform, and resources.


2016 Global Initiative’s Strategy and its linkages to SSTC and peer approaches

To stimulate country-level action, scale up existing efforts, and increase impact, the Initiative focus on interventions that are locally owned, ensure clear coherence with national development priorities, and rely on rigorous evidence of what works in different settings. These interventions are concrete and focus on the following multisectorial areas:

  • Green jobs for youth in collaboration with the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) and SSTC;
  • Quality apprenticeships in collaboration, inter alia, with the Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN) and triangular cooperation;
  • Digital skills and “tech-hubs” to improve decent job opportunities for youth in the digital economy;
  • Youth in fragile states and the question of fragile-to-fragile cooperation;
  • Youth in the informal economy, promoting an integrated strategy for young peoples’ transition to the formal economy in synergy with the current urbanization issue-based process initiated by HLCP/CEB in support of Habitat III;
  • Youth in the rural economy and peer learning approaches and sharing of good practices;
  • Linkages to global markets and investments to improve opportunities for young entrepreneurs, also with the Youth and Trade Initiative;
  • Transition to decent work for young workers (15-17) in hazardous occupations and SSTC.

The Action relies on the commitment of national and regional institutions and the support of United Nations Country Teams to fully engage a diverse set of local partners, drawing from the rich and varied composition of the Initiative’s multi-stakeholder Alliance.





Ms. Anita Amorim


The SSTC strategy was adopted by the Governing Body in March 2012, and its accompanying indicators were adopted in November 2012. The Strategy has two main outcomes and several indicators (outlined in GB.313/POL/7 and GB. 316/POL/5). The first outcome relates to the ILO’s institutional awareness and capacity to implement SSTC; the second relates to the advancement of the Decent Work Agenda through new partnerships with governments, social partners and civil society organisations. The moderator will introduce these important points, while highlighting the importance of the key area of Skills development for the implementation of the SSTC strategy.

Anita Amorim is Head of the Emerging and Special Partnerships Unit of the ILO since 2008. She currently coordinates and manages the unit, which is located in the partnerships department. The unit would encompasses three complementary functions: 1) South-South and triangular cooperation function; 2) Special Partnerships function (including relations with parliamentarians CSO, NGOs); 3) UN Operational Activities for development function. Anita Amorim was one of the initiators of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation strategy that was adopted by the governing Body in 2012. She worked earlier in UNESCO from 1992-2000, in charge of right to education negotiations, and the promotion of the Culture of Peace (year and Decade).




H.E. Musa Kulaklikaya

Director General of The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)

The joint initiative: Skills, Employment and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) for Inclusive Growth Initiative, aims to increase job and livelihood opportunities for the disadvantaged, including migrants and refugees, through leveraging the role of markets and the private sector in skills development. In deploying its first pilot, the SEED for Inclusive Growth will benefit from the longstanding IDB and UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) partnership under “Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Programme” (DEEP). This partnership will help integrate the SEED partners with ease and learning from the success of DEEP projects that has supported 9,560 family owned enterprises, and generated approximately 23,000 paid and sustainable jobs in the prolonged fragility.

As the first step, the Parties will seek opportunities to model SEED for Inclusive Growth in Palestine for youth employment and entrepreneurship. The modality will then be replicated in other Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries that are suffering from protracted crises or under fragility conditions. Among the considered countries, Palestine is selected for the initiation of the pilot of the programme for the following reasons:

a) its importance in the portfolios of the partners,
b) existing partnership base and
c) relevant IDB-UNDP project infrastructure in Palestine

Amb. Musa KULAKLIKAYA is the Director General of SESRIC since March 2015. He started his professional career as an expert at the Turkish State Railways (TCDD). Following this, he started to work as candidate district governor at the Ministry of Interior. After completion of the training period, he served as district governor and deputy governor in different provinces and cities of Turkey.

In 2004, Musa KULAKLIKAYA became vice president of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). After holding this post for 3,5 years, he was appointed as President of TIKA where he undertook significant international development projects.Moreover, he enhanced collaboration with international partners including IDB, World Bank, UNDP, FAO, ECO and SESRIC. In 2011, he was assigned as the Ambassador of Turkey to Mauritania where he coordinated food security, drinking water and health projects in cooperation with Turkish NGOs and TIKA.

In recognition of his tremendous contribution to agricultural sustainability and fight against hunger, he was, in 2010, awarded the “ECO Prize” by the Economic Cooperation Agency (ECO), and “World Food Day Award” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


Mr. Numan Özcan

Director of the ILO Office for Turkey

Skills and youth employment in the context of the refugee crisis: a SSTC perspective

The ILO is playing a significant role in the livelihoods cluster of the response in the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) coordinated by the UN agencies and development partners. In 2015, the ILO Office for Turkey has introduced a comprehensive strategy and inclusive response to the Syrian refugee crisis which has become one of the most important agenda items for the ILO Office for Turkey. In addition, the ILO has been progressively working on social integration and inclusion issues involving child labour, women’s empowerment etc.

The ILO prepared a Programme for the Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Turkey, entitled “Promoting a Resilient Labour Market through Decent Work and Inclusive Economic Growth” for the period 2017-2021. This has an important peer-to-peer component based on the relationship with countries facing similar difficulties such as Lebanon and Jordan.

Mr. Özcan is the Director of the ILO Office for Turkey since 7 January 2015. Between 2005 and 2015, Mr. Özcan worked as the Sector Manager for Social Policy and Employment at the EU Delegation in Turkey.


Ms. Perihan Tawfik

National Project Officer at the Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young Peoples project

Upgrading apprenticeships through cross-country exchange of experiences

This presentation will describe a cross-country experience from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt and Jordan on upgrading apprenticeships. In many countries with large informal economies, skills are acquired informally on the job through informal apprenticeship. Some countries like Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have devised legislation to respond to this reality. At the same time, formal apprenticeship systems require strengthening to increase the involvement of enterprises in training provision. The ILO is assisting in exchanging experiences, identifying solutions for strengthening existing systems, and helped design pilot approaches in Jordan and Egypt. Labour market intermediation through public employment services is crucial to help improve job matching and job search support. Countries in North Africa are learning from each other’s experiences facilitated by the ILO.

Perihan Tawfik is a holder of Masters of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) 2007 from the American University Cairo (AUC). Since her graduation with High Honors from the Cairo University in 1998, Ms. Tawfik has been gaining different experiences within the International Labour Organization (ILO) Cairo Office for North Africa. She has moved from the administration to the technical cooperation projects in 2006 which enabled her to travel on missions to different countries and enriched her developmental background and experience. Ms. Tawfik has been working on as a master trainer in Entrepreneurship Education and Awareness throughout two ILO projects. Currently, Perihan is a senior officer coordinating a CAD$15,000,000 project in Egypt having Employment, Skills and Enterprises as the main components of developmental interventions focusing on policy, national and governorate level aiming at 15,000 decent jobs created through training for employment or self-employment. For the last 8 years my focus is on entrepreneurship & enterprise development for Youth.


Mr. Joao Bosco

Brazil-Africa Institute

Youth Technical Training Programme

Several challenges of different African countries were faced by Brazil. This empathetic aspect forces us to reflect on the need to intensify South South Cooperation. Brazil Africa Institute in fulfillment of its mission of nurturing interactions between Brazil and the African continent by focusing its actions on promoting economic and social development and combating poverty, designed the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP).

Professor João Bosco Monte is the founder and current President of Brazil Africa Institute. He holds a PhD in Education from the Federal University of Ceará and Postdoctoral studies from the University of Brasilia (UNB), with the object of research on the integration of the African continent. He is the General Coordinator of Brazil Africa Forum and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Youth Technical Training Program.


Mr. Berkin Safak Sener

Board Member, Youth Deal Cooperative; International Consultant on Employment; SAIS International Development, MA '17

Youth Deal Cooperative

Youth Deal Cooperative is Turkey’s first youth-led cooperative working in the field of youth employment and social development. It undertakes multi-stakeholder projects, organizes trainings and offers consultancy services to public, private and civil society sectors. Peer-to-peer approaches are part of the networking approaches of the cooperatives.

Mr Berkin Şafak Şener is a Board Member, Youth Deal Cooperative. He is also working as an international consultant on employment. Mr Sener did his graduate internship in ILO Washington D.C., and he was also research assistant in the Johns Hopkins University – The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (2016-2017). He had his bachelor of international relations in Bilkent University and he earned a master degree of International development and economic at Johns Hopkins University. Mr Sener will speak about SSTC in cooperative networking.


Mr. Fernando Baptista

International Consultant on South-South and triangular cooperation, ILO & UNOSSC

Virtual Platforms, SSTC, Skills Development: South-South Meeting Point

The “South South Meeting Point” ( is a virtual interactive space where people from different South countries can meet, engage, exchange and cooperate on the fields of job creation; skills development; social protection; elimination of child labour and modern slavery; social dialogue; labour migration; cooperation between fragile countries (Fragile-to-Fragile); local economic development (LED); and social and solidarity economy (SSE). Its main goal is to increase the direct connectivity and the interactivity amongst people interested in this proposition. This space was developed in 2014 with the support of the ILO Partnerships and Field Support Department (PARDEV). Likewise, Fernando Baptista is supporting the UNOSSC in its Internet strategy.

Fernando Baptista is a development consultant with the ILO and the UNOSSC, with a strong speciality on South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as social and solidarity economy and the creation of community of practices on SSTC.




ILO Focal Point

Anita Amorim
Head, Emerging and Special Partnerships Unit (ESPU)
Department of Partnerships and Field Support (PARDEV)






[3] i.e. living on less than US$3.10 per day

[4] The 2012 Resolution calls upon ILO constituents and partners to 1) Foster pro-employment growth and decent job creation through macroeconomic policies, employability, labour market policies, youth entrepreneurship and rights to tackle the social consequences of the crisis, while ensuring financial and fiscal sustainability; 2) Promote macroeconomic policies and fiscal incentives that support employment and stronger aggregate demand, improve access to finance and increase productive investment; and 3) Adopt fiscally sustainable and targeted measures, such as countercyclical policies and demand-side interventions, public employment programmes, employment guarantee schemes, labour-intensive infrastructure programmes, wage and training subsidies and other specific youth employment interventions. (For more information:—ed_norm/—relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_185950.pdf)