The world is currently facing an unprecedented crisis that is affecting social and economic systems alike. We must therefore think ahead and help countries recover and rebuild sustainably.

Under the theme Green Skills for a Sustainable Future, and through a combination of plenary sessions, virtual booths, networking opportunities, and expert-led workshops, the LKDF Forum 2020 will provide a virtual venue to discuss the future of skills and jobs. In particular, how public and private sector partners can work together to reduce the mismatch between supply and demand for skills. Find more information below and register here


  • What is the LKDF
  • The LKDF Forum
  • The theme
  • Objectives
  • Join and Share
  • Agenda
  • The Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) is a platform that promotes industrial skills development among for young people in emerging developing economies. The LKDF supports the establishment and upgrading of industrial training academies to help meet the labour market’s increasing demand for skilled employees, ultimately contributing to inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).

    For many developing countries, access to quality educational systems and training programs is not adequate to meet new demands and address technological, social and environmental challenges. Uncoordinated dialogue between governments and national and international private companies affects the development and sustainability of a modern Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) system. While, poor collaboration between the private sector and TVET institutions often narrows the capacity of providing programmes and curricula that meet market needs and future skills requirements. Moreover, limited financial investments and corporate commitment results in an outdated and untrusted TVET system that does not influence the job market. As a result, young people do not see the value of TVET as a driver for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship that promotes inclusive and sustainable growth and supports transitions to digitalized and green economies.

    UNIDO identifies and collaborates with public, private and development partners (SDG17) to develop and scale-up training centers to fill address the skills gap in developing countries. Our training and innovative curricula equip young female and male students with demand-driven skills and future skills requirements to seize the opportunities of technological progress (SDG4, SDG9). To date, UNIDO in collaboration with more than 40 partners has established and or upgraded about 15 training centers with a yearly intake of between 100-500 students and the participation of 20-100 trainers per TVET center. Our TVET projects already achieved 35% female participation in male-dominated sectors, with 60% of the trainees confirming they already found a better job situation.

    By establishing Public-Private Development Partnerships (PPDP), UNIDO and partners design, establish, sustain, and upgrade training centers and curricula. The PPDP projects support social and environmental standards, such as gender equality and women empowerment (SDG5) and climate resilience (SDG13). Governments receive assistance to evaluate their TVET system, identify financial and human capacity requirements and existing linkages and gaps with the private sector. TVET centers collect contributions from the public and private sector to offer training services, meeting international standards and market needs. Private companies connect with governments to learn about the local context and inform about skills needs to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of their businesses, and students acquire demand-driven skills, participate in awareness sessions on job content, and work readiness. 

    To ensure the long-term success of the industrial academies, the LKDF offers a systematic monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methodology that helps to track results and impacts by collecting, storing, and analyzing trainees' data. A key feature of the M&E system is the feedback loop between the LKDF and the participating PPDP projects. The projects LKDF provides a entail a monitoring database with information collected from the projects and, twice-yearly monitoring reports, and mid-term evaluations are produced along with, and ROI. While the LKDF shows project and country baseline reports, field visit reports, and mid-term and final evaluations. Through results-based learning and knowledge development, the LKDF evaluates the immediate impact in terms of sustainability and scale that will contribute to reducing overall youth unemployment in targeted regions. It further provides the policymakers and the donor community with transparent results to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the programmes and justify their expansion to other countries or sectors.

  • The LKDF Forum will convene virtually 6-8 October 2020 under the theme Green Skills for a Sustainable Future. The Forum will be an occasion for partners, project teams, training specialists, TVET experts and interested stakeholders to come together, discuss the importance of green skills development, and provide recommendations on ways to include green skills curricula in training activities.

    The audience will comprise a combination of officials, ranging from Ministers (Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Commerce, etc.) and high-level dignitaries (such as Heads of United Nations agencies and International Organizations). The LKDF Forum especially gathers representatives from the private sector (companies, associations and organizations) academia (universities and research institutions) and civil society, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

    The LKDF Forum thus provides a unique and diverse platform for the exchange of views on global industrial skills development. This mix will prove to be a stimulating basis for captivating debates; identifying issues and trends within the industrial skills development agenda, as well as innovative approaches and solutions, and realizing the fundamental role of industry for promoting growth and sustainability.

    The first 2 days (6-7 October) will be open to the wider public, whereas the 3rd day will be invitation-only. While we highly encourage inclusive debates, the last day of the Forum will be a time where experts and practitioners will come together to develop a tool that can be used by Governments, training centers and trainers to introduce demand-driven green curricula to their portfolio.

  • The need to transition towards more environmentally sustainable modes of production and consumption has become an imperative both for developed as well as for developing countries. Increasing evidence for environmental degradation and health damage caused by pollution, along with decreasing costs for green technologies suggest that such a transition is not only desirable but also economically possible. Moreover, studies have shown that the deployment of green technologies also have a positive net effect on job creation (ILO 2018), an essential co-benefit for developing countries seeking to foster inclusive green growth. (OECD, 2011) Therefore, further progress is expected in the coming decades, both in terms of green technology diffusion, as well as in terms of decarbonizing economic growth.

    The transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy involves systemic interventions to change methods of production across several sectors (ILO 2018). In particular, changes are required in the most polluting sectors, specifically in the generation, use, and transmission of energy, in transportation and agriculture. To this end, although with varying level of ambition, nearly all countries have by now renewable energy support policies in place (REN21 2020). Moreover, several countries have also expressed their commitment to reducing emissions across key sectors through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) following the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. In spite of these measures and existing opportunities, industry and transportation remain, however, the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Friedlingstein et al. 2019). Industry-related GHG emissions, in particular, have continued to increase despite the declining share of manufacturing in global gross domestic product (GDP) (Fischedick et al. 2014).

    Yet, decoupling of industrial activities from an excessive use of natural resources and environmental degradation is essential for the green transformation (UNIDO 2020). This process can be a “game-changer” for structural change (Altenburg and Rodrik 2017). The systemic changes necessary to enable such a transformation will result not only in new products and services but also in changes in production processes and business models (ibid.). To make these outcomes possible, aside from policies and institutions, technology development and appropriate skills are necessary.

    The development of skills, knowledge and competences is, in particular, a major component of the transition to a low-carbon economy, making the adoption and use of resource-efficient, sustainable process and technologies possible by the private sector and for individual consumers (Cedefop and OECD 2015). The impacts on skills should also be seen in the broader context of transformations defining the 21st century, including the advent of the fourth industrial revolution (or 4IR) and smart manufacturing processes (known as Industry 4.0). As such, “green skills” need to be aligned with competencies required by these processes, given the inter-linkages between digitalization and green industrial development.

    Three main trends are likely to influence what green skills are necessary and in which activities/sectors (Cedefop and OECD 2018: 9): (a) greening requires upgrading skills and adjusting qualification requirement across occupations and industries; (b) new economic activities related to the transition to a low-carbon economy create new occupations and related qualifications and skills profiles; and (c) structural change creates a need to reintegrate workers in the declining sectors into the labor market through re-training programs.

    • Convene public and private stakeholders for Public-Private Development Partnerships (PPDPs): The Forum offers a voice and venue to present our partnership model and how it is implemented in beneficiary countries to close the skill gap and equip young people with demand-driven skills to successfully enter the job market. We strongly believe that an open dialogue between the public and private sectors and the donor community can lead to impactful partnerships that spur economic growth and ensure inclusive and sustainable industrial development worldwide.
    • Help assess the skill gap:  The Forum stimulates lively debates to learn about the skill needs in developing countries as well as those of the private sector. In 2016, OECD countries have experienced reduced productivity by 6% due to skills mismatch, reducing global GDP by USD5 trillion in 2017. (OECD, 2016) Additionally, the current labor market shock related to the COVID-19 crisis can further worsen the current scenario, with productivity losses reaching 11%. In a changing labor market, which adapts to the digital revolution, this phenomenon seems to represent a hidden cost that would have reduced productivity. BCG further foresees that the skill mismatch would affect 1.3 billion people worldwide. An impressive and growing number, as it is expected to grow to 1.4 billion by 2030. When a company does not find the ideal candidate with the required skills, it is forced to hire less qualified people and train them on the job. On the other hand, jobseekers accept any job that pays a salary, which oftentimes does not meet the expectations. The phenomenon is however more pronounced in some countries and less so in others, such as Northern European countries. The Forum will look at the problem from various perspectives and attempt to propose alternative solutions.
    • Propose concrete actions: The Forum will stimulate networking sessions and side discussions to review partnerships and possible future projects. But above all, the Forum will host an invitation-only workshop on the third day to develop a green industrial skills tool to be used by training centers and practitioners to meet the demand and achieve a low-carbon economy. Introducing “green elements” to curricula is of utmost importance to ensure sustainability and a better future for all. The first two days of the Forum will serve as the basis for our experts to develop the needed tool. The participation of all attendees will therefore be crucial.
    • Measure impacts: Although not an immediate outcome of the LKDF Forum 2020, the LKDF team expects to ensure a high involvement of participants and aims to monitor the impact of new green industrial skills curricula. We will therefore invite all attendees to stay tuned for future like events and workshops.

  • The event will take place on the HopIn online platform. Register here.

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  • The event agenda is available here.