Education & Training News

Skill gaps, rise of gig economy key topics at G-20 EWG meet next month

Rise of gig economy and platform workers, employment opportunities for youth, social security and breaking the barrier between skill training and higher education will be among the key themes of the upcoming G20 Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting.

Gig and platform workers have emerged as a new category and their numbers have risen, especially during the pandemic. However, the segment faces many challenges such as lack of proper working conditions and social security, said a source.

Most countries also do not have the proper statistical capacities to measure and account for such new categories of workers, who now form a significant chunk of the working population of many countries, the source said.

The ministry of labour and employment, which is the nodal ministry for the EWG, is hosting the meeting in Jodhpur between February 2 and 4.

“All these are significant global issues. The question on how to universalise and make social security sustainable is a big challenge for many countries,” said a second person familiar with the development. Policy options such as social insurance schemes and tax-financed schemes to ensure sustainable financing of social security will also be discussed.

 “It is generally thought that formal employment and social security are contrary objectives. The discussions will focus on how to make the two complementary,” said the source. The meeting will also focus on measures to improve employment opportunities for the youth, against the backdrop of the global slowdown.

 Measuring skill gaps and bridging the barrier between higher education and skills will also be discussed. How to harmonise the skill assessment framework and a unified framework for skills at the G-20 level for improved mobility of skilled workers will also be taken up. The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and the ministry of education will also be roped in for this discussion.

“Often, skills training and certification by one country is not accepted in another country,” said the source, adding that this is a major challenge for Indian workers.

India assumed presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2022. This is the first meeting of the EWG. In all, the ministry of labour will organise four such meetings, which will culminate in the G20 Labour Ministers’ Meeting around September.

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