UNIDO engages in the dialogue around skills for a resilient future

UNIDO participated in the WorldSkills Conference, a five-day hybrid event held in Shangai and online on 25 - 29 October 2021, that focused on the future of vocational education and training (VET) in terms of green jobs, poverty reduction through skills and the future of apprenticeships.

At the opening plenary, Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director of UNIDO’s Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business, alongside high-level participants such as Zhang Jinan, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security of China, Gong Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization, and Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, addressed the impact of COVID-19 in the world of work and education, and how UNIDO has prioritized the rescue of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as a means of assisting UNIDO Member States thanks to its unique advantage and expertise in structural transformation and digitalization. “To build back better [...]we need to focus on inclusive industrial recovery programmes and on the early planning of skills development programmes, in particular focusing on the most vulnerable ones such as youth, women and MSMEs.”, said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in initiatives to overcome the ongoing consequences of the pandemic.

Shedding light on the solutions and opportunities brought by the green transition, Dejene Tezera, Director of Department of Agri-Business at UNIDO, and Riccardo Savigliano, Chief of UNIDO’s Agro-Industries and Skills Development Division participated in a series of panel sessions as part of the event. “We need to invest in [...] a workforce with the appropriate set of digital and green skills to be able to effectively install, operate and develop upcoming green technologies”, said Dejene Tezera during his intervention. UNIDO’s programmes and partnerships, such as the H20 Morocco Maghreb project with HP, the UNIDO and Midea partnership and the Eco-Industrial Park in Indonesia were highlighted as effective examples of the organization’s efforts to build skills for a more resilient and sustainable future. “UNIDO [...] cannot do this alone. We need the support from governments and the private sector to join forces in the development of skills for a transition to a greener economy” emphasized Riccardo Savigliano.

For more information contact Karin Monaco (K.Monaco [at] unido.org (K[dot]Monaco[at]unido[dot]org))