ILO Director-General welcomes BRICS commitment to green jobs, skills development, workers’ protection

GENEVA – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has welcomed the commitment by the Labour and Employment Ministers (LEMM) of the BRICS countries to promote green employment, invest in skills development and protect workers in new forms of employment.

“Multiple global crises are unfolding in the world. This, in addition to increasing inequalities between and within countries, hampers more than ever our efforts to make labour markets more inclusive, sustainable and resilient,” said Ryder in his remarks to the ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Amid “growing risks of a further deterioration in labour markets over the course of 2022,” Ryder told the ministers that, “promoting green employment is key for addressing climate change and accelerating green, low-carbon sustainable development.”

“Investing in skills development for a resilient recovery and to make workers future-ready in the face of digitalization, demographic shifts and decarbonization is equally imperative,” emphasized Ryder, who also underlined the importance of “supporting workers in new forms of employment by providing adequate social protection, actively promoting appropriate regulation.”

The LEMM Declaration , issued at the end of the Ministers’ meeting, which took place on 14 July in Beijing, China, stresses that “the global labour market is still under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with current and future challenges caused by climate change, technological transition and demographic shifts”.

The declaration identifies three priorities for labour and employment policy responses to the pandemic: promoting green jobs for sustainable development, developing skills for a resilient recovery and protecting workers’ rights in new forms of employment.

In their declaration the BRICS Ministers “commit to acquire a deeper understanding of green jobs, adopt policy measures for employment and human resources development that meet the needs of green growth, low-carbon and sustainable development together with other government agencies and social partners,” and to take advantage of “the triple benefits of mitigating and adapting to climate change with a just transition for all.”

The declaration also “advocate[s for] greater inter-ministerial coordination as well as government policy support to encourage companies to increase investment in skills development, expand apprenticeship programs, improve the quality and scope of work-based learning, and promote sustainable business development.”

Recalling the 2019 ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work , the LEMM Declaration underlines the importance of promoting a “human-centred approach to shape the future of work and protect the rights of workers in new forms of employment.”