The 1st G-20 Employment Working Group concluded in Jodhpur today on a positive note with all G20 countries showing interest and commitment in constructively working towards the objective of the three priority areas of Addressing Global Skills Gaps, Gig & platform economy & social protection and Sustainable Financing of Social Security set by the Indian Presidency.
The three-day meeting of the Employment Working Group (EWG) [2-4 February] of the Indian Presidency, led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India has the mandate of addressing priorities of labour, employment and social issues for strong, sustainable, balanced, and job-rich growth for all.
The Employment Working Group meetings began on Thursday with a special event that included a panel discussion on ‘Exploring Strategies for Global Skills and Qualifications Harmonization and developing a Framework for Common Skill Taphonomies’ .
Extending warm welcome to all delegates and appreciating them for their dedication to the cause of the G20 Employment Working Group in Jodhpur Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat called upon members of the international community in the Opening session of second day to strive together to make meaningful progress in creating more opportunities for decent work and inclusive growth for all people.
The Minister said the theme of India’s G20 Presidency, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future” is particularly fitting as we come together to discuss the interconnectedness of our economies and our peoples. He said it serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity and the importance of working together to build a better future for all. It also underlines that, solutions to the labour and employment challenges we face today, must be inclusive, sustainable and equitable for all, he added. After the Ministerial address India’s G20 EWG Chair and Secretary of Ministry of Labour & Employment Ms Aarti Ahuja, remarks were followed by remarks by Co-Chairs from Indonesia & Brazil on India’s G20 EWG priorities.
The second session included presentations and interventions from countries and IOs (International Organisations) on the ‘Addressing Global Skills Gaps’ priority. International organisations, ILO and OECD highlighted the various types of imbalances between skills and qualifications in the labour market.
This was followed by presentation by Mr Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship wherein he enunciated various Skill and development activities & initiatives being taken up in India that have been bought forth by industry & government bodies to achieve the set goals. The open discussion during this session provided the participating countries with a platform for experience sharing on some of the existing conditions and legal framework for skill development in their respective countries.
The third session covered the priority issue of Gig and Platform Economy and Social Protection. It began with a detailed technical Presentation by ILO, OECD and ISSA, followed by a presentation by the Niti Aayog, the premier think tank for the Government of India. Session 4 and 5 delved into the topic of ‘gig and platform economy’ discussion in the global and Indian context. The intervening countries made detailed presentations on existing gig and platform economy frameworks and shared their experiences on addressing the concerns of worker in this sector.
The third day of the meeting began with opening remarks by G20 EWG Chair and Secretary of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. The issue of ‘Sustainable Financing of Social Security’ was discussed during the sessions of the day. International organisations, ILO, OECD and ISSA jointly highlighted the current and emerging challenges in social protection. They also focused on the overall objective and different structures available for sustainable financing. The World Bank in its presentation highlighted the need for universal social protection. The team from the Employees Provident Fund Organization, Ministry of Labour and Employment made an informative presentation on initiatives and schemes being implemented by the Government of India towards enhancing and strengthening social security. This was followed by country-wise interventions and open discussion where participating countries detailed the existing conditions and legal framework for providing social security in their respective countries.
Short yoga breaks were also plugged into these sessions conducted over a period of two days.
The sessions concluded with encouraging remarks by EWG Co-Chairs Indonesia and Brazil. EWG Chair and Secretary of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Ms Arti Ahuja, in her concluding remarks thanked all the G20 delegates and participants, including International Organisations for their contribution and engagement in the discussions.