Unveiling Trends, Practices, and Opportunities in Skills Development Across Southern, East, and Horn of Africa

Addressing the need for more reliable information on the skills dimensions of labour migration by establishing an information hub within the Knowledge Sharing Portal on Skills and Labour Migration (ASPYEE) platform.

News | 09 December 2023
The International Labour Organization (ILO) Better Regional Migration Management (BRMM) Programme in collaboration with GIZ and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AU-NEPAD), hosted an inaugural webinar on ‘Skills Development for Domestic Workers in Africa’ in December 2023. The webinar delved into a pivotal yet often overlooked aspect of labour migration: skills development for domestic workers. Key objectives included providing an overview of domestic work skills programs, learning from successful practices globally, fostering exchange among stakeholders, and introducing the ASPYEE Platform’s skills dimensions of labour migration portal.

Highlighting the importance of the topic, the webinar emphasised the transformative potential of skills training for domestic workers. Key benefits were outlined as professionalism elevation, improved employability, better working conditions, enhanced confidence, and personal growth. Furthermore, the webinar launched the SLM-KSP (Skills and Labour Migration Knowledge-Sharing Platform) on ASPYEE (African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship). This platform serves as a centralised hub for the exchange of knowledge, uniting various institutions dedicated to skills recognition and labour migration. Its primary goal is to facilitate collaboration among key stakeholders in the fields of labour migration and skills recognition.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Sabine Klaus, Head of the Project for the Skills Initiative for Africa (SIFA), stressed the significance of providing specialised skills to domestic workers to elevate their professionalism, enhance marketability, and boost confidence. Ms Aida Awel, Chief Technical Adviser of the BRMM Programme, underscored the global focus on recruiting skilled and well-trained migrant workers, setting the discussion within the context of increasing demand for proficient care workers.

The webinar featured three compelling presentations that illuminated different facets of care work globally. Ms. Claire Hobden from the ILO highlighted the rising demand for skilled care workers and the need for professionalization through legal frameworks, awareness campaigns, and targeted skills development. Prof. Mona Gupta shared experiences from India, emphasizing skill training programs and national certifications for domestic workers. Ms. Sophie Kagan addressed the Gulf Cooperation Council region, emphasizing the demand for skilled workers and advocating for regional collaboration in developing effective training programs.
Former domestic worker Ms Mbali Nhlapho from South Africa highlighted the role of technology in training and upskilling. The webinar also included a panel discussion on domestic worker training in Africa, discussing challenges, such as informality, and limited access, and proposing solutions including technology integration and peer-to-peer learning. Stakeholders highlighted the importance of regional collaboration, financial literacy, technology integration, and addressing barriers faced by domestic workers.

The session concluded with closing remarks and key takeaways from Albert Okal, Technical Specialist in Skills Development for Improved Labour Migration Management, BRMM Programme. The event proved instrumental in fostering collaboration, sharing expertise, and laying the groundwork for future domestic worker skills development initiatives across the African region. The webinar successfully strengthened knowledge on trends and the scope of domestic work occupations, offering valuable insights into practices, tools, and approaches for designing and implementing quality training. It catered to a diverse audience of key stakeholders, including workers and employers' organizations, employment services agencies, training providers, and ministries responsible for labour migration.