Closing the Skills Gap: Regional Skills Projects

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It is now well recognized that the disconnect between education systems and labour markets, coupled with technological disruptions, is creating instability and insecurity to the livelihoods of many. Many businesses are initiating their own attempts to change the education systems around them but are unable to affect systemic change alone. Governments are under increasing pressure to find solutions, including by involving the private sector in change efforts but few are able to act rapidly and few work in close collaboration with private sector actors to reform education systems. 

The Regional Skills Projects seek to enhance employment opportunities at the country and/or regional level and facilitate effective collaborations to tackle skills gaps between business, government institutions and the education and training sector. The development of relevant talent will determine whether we all partake in the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or experience its disruptions as bystanders. Managing this transition will require visionary leadership and a wide range of partnerships.

The projects provide a platform for uniting business actions, thereby inspiring others to join, and foster cross-industry learning. They also aim to create constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors for broader reform of education and skills systems in preparing for the future of jobs.


 The Forum will serve as the platform to focus fragmented actions within one overarching vision for business pledges, while at the same time to encouraging constructive public-private dialogue on urgent and fundamental reform of education systems and labour policies to prepare workforces for the future of jobs.

Collectively, the regional skill projects aim to gather commitments to directly skill, upskill and reskill one million people in participating regions for future jobs by mid-2017. In addition they aim to indirectly assist millions more through thought leadership and policy change. Success is measured through the delivery of commitments, through annual benchmarking in the Human Capital Reports, the level of collaborative dialogue and action created and shifts in public sector policy and practice.