BACKGROUND Skills development is globally considered as key for productive employment.


Skills development is globally considered as key for
productive employment. Hence it is an important means
for increased productivity, private-sector development,
inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.
Economic diversification and structural change towards
high productivity sectors is necessary for combating
poverty in a sustainable way. This requires a better skilled
and more adaptable labour force which can spur domestic
and foreign investment. Linking skills development to
broader education and employment, growth and development strategies and systems is essential to ensure relevance, policy coherence, coordination and alignment.
Studies show that effective, sustainable approaches to
workforce development and employment must improve a
combination of skills for employability of individuals, and
at the same time build a sustainable system for improved
private-sector competitiveness. Especially, youth unemployment resulting from mismatch between the supply of
the education system and labour market needs could in
part be addressed through adequate skills development
within a future-oriented, flexible and holistic education
system for lifelong learning. 

Given increasing demands and based on the global goals
(particularly SDGs 1, 4 and 8) as well as the Policy
Framework for Swedish Development Cooperation and
Humanitarian Assistance, Sida will support skills development for employment in an education system that provides opportunities for lifelong learning.
Skills development is generally used to refer to the productive capabilities acquired through all levels of learning
and training, occurring in formal, non-formal, informal
and on-the-job settings. It enables individuals to become
fully and productively engaged in livelihoods, and to have
the opportunity to adapt these capabilities to meet the
changing demands and opportunities of economy and
labour market. The acquisition of such capabilities
depends on many factors, including a quality lifelong
learning system and a supportive learning environment.
The types of skills required for employment can be
divided into:
• Basic and foundation skills, which are acquired
through the primary and secondary formal school
system, or through non-formal and/or informal
learning processes (e.g. active learning, oral expression, reading comprehension, written expression, ICT
literacy, active listening). These are pre-requisites
for acquiring further skills enhancing the prospect of
sustainable employment.

 • Transferable skills, which include the abilities to
learn and adapt, solve problems, communicate ideas
effectively, think critically and creatively and the
ability to manage self and others. These skills
enable people to adapt to different work environments as well as improving their opportunities to

• Technical and vocational skills, which are specialized skills, knowledge or know-how to perform
specific duties or tasks, mainly in a professional
environment. These include, but are not limited to,
the traditional forms of technical and vocational
education and training (TVET), skills acquired
through the secondary level of the formal school
system or through non-formal and/or informal
learning processes.
• Professional and personal skills, including individual attributes relevant to work such as honesty,
integrity, reliability, work ethic, and judgement.

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