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International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Topic 1: Use of Technology in Bridging the Labour Skill Gap

Currently the global workforce is undergoing a lot of technological developments and automated advancements regularly replace workers undertaking repetitive tasks. Semi-skilled or low skilled workers are often the ones to be harmed by such developments. Technology is benefiting those with greater analytical, problem solving and creative skills alongside the countries with projects and policies stressing these skills. Policymakers are embracing this as an opportunity for their economies to benefit from productivity growth potential as it is anticipated that the world is gradually moving towards data analytics and technology in terms of employment and workforce. At the same time, it is necessary to evolve and innovate adaptive policies to benefit the workforce out of this. The labour market will play an important role in this transition into a new age of automation so ILO as an organisation will have to continue to protect the rights of workers throughout the change.

Topic 2: The Potential Of Green Policies in Employment Generation

Green jobs are jobs that contribute towards preserving or restoring the environment, be it in

traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. A successful transition towards green growth can create new opportunities for workers, if the associated challenges are managed well. Jobs will be created in green sectors, and jobs will be destroyed in their ‘brown’ counterparts with high environmental footprints; the knock-on effects on employment in other sectors can also be significant. The overall employment effects of green policies are still unclear; yet, the net effect will be much smaller than the gross number of jobs created. While comprehensive empirical evidence of the overall employment effects of ambitious green policies is still lacking, preliminary findings and detailed statistics suggest that well implemented green policies do not have to hurt overall employment. The challenge for labour market and skill policies is to prepare the labour market for this transition.

Topic 3: The Issue of Exploitation of Migrant Workers in MENA Countries

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continues to host groups highly vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Migrant workers, particularly domestic workers, are known to be among those who are most at risk. While the region is confronted by many pressing challenges – the rise of Islamic extremism, sectarian conflict and unrelenting hardships – the massive numbers of displaced people and refugees on the move throughout MENA contribute to the extended profile of those vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. All of these conditions together, coupled with already exceedingly precarious working conditions for millions of migrant workers create the conditions that are described as the “perfect storm” for human trafficking. This combination of factors is precisely the reason why it is so necessary to address migrant protection now.