Enhancing skills/jobs matching, recognition of skills, and labour certification of migrant workers of all skill levels

Labour migration often takes place in Africa in an environment where education and vocational training systems are not able to produce the skills needed and recognized by employers. This is a problem, compounded by the fact that often workers’ skills are not well matched to jobs, or processes are not in place to recognize migrant workers’ skills, including those acquired through prior learning. This impedes the successful and sustainable labour market integration for potential, current and returning migrant workers.

The Conclusions of the 2013 ILO Tripartite Technical Meeting on Labour Migration called for sound labour market needs assessment and skills recognition, including among other actions to “…explore mechanisms for mutual recognition of skills, and certification of credentials built on ILO experience and with the active involvement of the social partners. In this regard, the ILO seeks to encourage and support existing institutions and initiatives that have the potential to facilitate labour market integration and improve skills matching.”

ILO key achievements to date in supporting efforts on advancing work on the recognition and equivalence of degrees, diplomas, certificates and other qualifications include:
  • The “Migrant Workers’ Skills portability in Africa at Regional Economic Community and Continental level- Guidance towards an African Qualifications Framework?” report contributes to shed light on the issue of portability of skills of migrant workers in Regional Economic Communities and at the continental level in Africa. It aims to provide a conceptual background and information on the main instruments currently in use internationally, as well as to map current provisions for skills portability in Africa. It then discusses policy pointers for ways to improve skills portability. The report recommends that further dialogue takes place on the feasibility, cost and benefit of an African Qualifications Framework for a more realistic assessment of its potential.
  • The development of a global manual on ‘How to facilitate the recognition of skills of migrant workers: Guide for employment services providers’ and accompanying Facilitator’s Notes ‘Training employment services providers on how to facilitate the recognition of skills of migrant workers’. The Manual draws on good practices from various countries, as well as ILO experience, to demonstrate ways employment service providers can make better use of Recognition of Prior Learning systems in their countries to the benefit of migrant workers and refugees.
  • ILO’s strategy also relies on existing global policy tools such as ILO’s Guide on Recognition of Prior-Learning and Skills.