World Bank Group, EC Outline Collaboration on “Future of Work”
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The World Bank Group and European Commission’s collaboration on the “future of work” will focus on boosting skills, social protection systems and maximizing job creation and inclusive economic growth for sustainable development.

The two organizations will cooperate to ensure “smart and sustainable growth towards achieving the SDGs” and leave no one behind in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

4 February 2019: In a joint Communique, the World Bank Group (WBG) and the European Commission (EC) outline plans for coordination on the “future of work” in all countries and regions where they operate. The Communique underscores the need to tackle this issue in order to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and reach the SDGs.

The World Bank Group and EC’s collaboration on the future of work will focus on three areas. First, it will address the skills challenge emerging from the changing nature of work by equipping people with sound basic education and digital skills, as well as other “21st century skills” like critical thinking and teamwork. The work will boost skills through policy development, promotion of decent employment and employability tools and mechanisms, and public and private financing. Second, the collaboration will enhance, innovate and adapt social protection systems to ensure adequate universal coverage and protection for workers. Third, the two organizations will analyze potential changes in the nature of work, including from a climate and sustainability perspective, and will pursue policies to maximize the creation of decent jobs through private investment in sectors with potential for high job growth.

The WBG and EC will analyze potential changes in the nature of work from a climate and sustainability perspective.

According to the Communique, joint efforts will aim to reduce inequality and promote gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. The two organizations will foster a shared understanding of the issues related to the future of work, address common priorities, and then cooperate to maximize the social and economic impact of interventions with a “smart and sustainable growth towards achieving the SDGs” and leaving no one behind in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

To implement the collaboration, the WBG and EC will focus on:

  • Strengthening and expanding dialogue and exchanges of knowledge and lessons learned;
  • Developing and sharing data, methodologies and analysis to strengthen policy dialogue; and
  • Maximizing the impact of fiscal policy on the future of work, such as by increasing effectiveness of spending on social protection and education.

The WBG and the EC will further leverage joint analytical work and identify concrete opportunities for collaboration in countries where the future of work agenda is at the center of each institution’s engagement, such as activities related to the digital economy and employability, or region-wide initiatives, like the Africa-Europe Alliance on Sustainable Investment and Jobs, and the Digital Moonshot for Africa. Technical teams from both organizations will meet regularly to enhance coordination at global, regional and country levels.

The Communique follows a January 2019 report containing ten recommendations for decent, sustainable work for all, from the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work. [EC Press Release] [World Bank Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on ILO Global Commission Report]

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