The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a leap in the digitalization of learning, working and connecting with others, but it has also exposed a serious digital divide that reinforces social and economic disparities.

Under the theme Digital Skills for an Inclusive Future, and through a combination of plenary sessions, expert-led workshops, and networking opportunities, the LKDF Forum 2021 will provide a virtual venue to discuss the future of skills and jobs. In particular, how to seize the opportunities of digital technologies to ensure an inclusive future, empowering the most vulnerable and leaving no one behind.

Find more information below and here.

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  • What is the LKDF
  • The LKDF Forum
  • Theme
  • Objectives
  • Registration
  • The Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) is a platform that promotes industrial skills development among young people in emerging developing economies. The LKDF supports the establishment and upgrading of industrial training academies to help meet the labor 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.

    UNIDO identifies and collaborates with public, private and development partners (SDG17) to develop and scale-up training centers to 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).

    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).

  • The LKDF Forum 2021 will convene virtually on 22 September under the theme Digital Skills for an Inclusive Future, followed by a virtual hackathon on 23-24 September to build on the 2020 forum’s edition and compete to create the best green skills solution. The first day of the event will be open to the wider public, whereas the remaining days will be open only to selected applicants of the hackathon.

    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 inclusivity.

  • The world has faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 and had to quickly adapt to new socio-economic needs. In 2021, the global community had to strengthen its capacity to solve such challenges innovatively and collaboratively. To tackle these challenges and build back better, the United Nations called for greater multilateral cooperation. Among the UN priorities 2021, we find the response to COVID-19, the fight towards gender equality defined as “the greatest human rights challenge”, and the need to seize the opportunities of digital technologies while protecting against their growing dangers. On tackling poverty and inequality, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, specifically referred to a New Social Contract supported by education and digital technology.

    Among major global challenges, unemployment is surely on top of the list, and despite gains in education, labour market prospects continue to be generally more unfavourable for young women. Moreover, the imperative of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind demands that the poorest, the most vulnerable and discriminated against must be empowered. This includes young people, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and those affected by conflicts, disasters and other humanitarian crises. A new generation of inequalities goes beyond income disparity to encompass the knowledge and skills that are needed to succeed in today’s world.

    And while the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unexpected leap in the digitalization of learning, working and connecting with others, it has also exposed a serious digital divide that reinforces social and economic disparities. The digital transformation, the fourth industrial revolution, and the potential disruptive impact of technologies on the future of work have created uncertainties, but also unprecedented opportunities. Early observations of post-COVID-19 trends show that the digitalization of production and services, including generation and use of data along value chains, is accelerating.

    Moved by a wide global agreement on the most pressing challenges to be tackled, the LKDF wants to do its part by promoting public-private development partnerships to develop demand-oriented digital skills in an inclusive industry, ultimately contributing to generation equality. Therefore, the proposed theme for the LKDForum 2021 is Digital Skills for an Inclusive Future (of Work).

    • 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 needed in developing countries as well as those of the private sector. In 2016, OECD countries experienced reduced productivity by 6% due to skills mismatch, reducing global GDP by USD 5 trillion in 2017 (OECD, 2016).
    • 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 hackathon on the second and third days 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.
    • Measure impacts: Although not an immediate outcome of the LKDF Forum 2021, the LKDF team expects to ensure a high involvement of participants and aims to monitor the impact of new digital industrial skills curricula. We will therefore invite all attendees to stay tuned for future events and workshops.
  • Register for the main event here.

    Apply for the #LKDForum 2021 Hackathon here. Five teams will be selected to present their ideas on how agri-business can generate less waste, carbon emissions, and reduce energy consumption.