For most people, the key to escaping out of poverty means having a job. Recognizing that developing labour standards without addressing employment would be senseless, the ILO dedicates a large part of its programme to creating greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income. Enterprise promotion and human resource development are key elements in achieving these goals. The ILO conducts employment analysis and research, helps formulate employment policy, and promotes skills development, job creation, enterprise development and cooperatives. The ILO also works closely with the United Nations and other multilateral organizations in support of the Millennium Declaration.
In 2003, the ILO adopted the Global Employment Agenda to promote both the quantitative objective of increasing productive employment and the qualitative dimension of employment. The Agenda sets out ten core elements for developing a global strategy to boost employment. These include economic strategies such as promoting trade and investment for productive employment and market access for developing countries, sustainable development for sustainable livelihoods, and policy integration on macroeconomic policy.
Employment Promotion and the ILO in the Caribbean
The ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean provides technical support and advice to its constituents in the region - governments, national employers' organizations and umbrella trade unions, in areas ranging from training and skills development to job creation, cooperatives, productivity enhancement, labour market information, and enterprise and small business development. Some of its activities have included:
The provision of technical advice, training and support for the drawing up of a national policy on cooperatives in Trinidad and Tobago (May 2004 - June 2006).
Small Business Trainers of the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) benefited from the Training of Trainers Workshop on ILO's Start Your Business Programme in December 2006. With ILO's support, YTEPP has subsequently adapted the Start Your Business manual for Trinidad and Tobago for use by students of their entrepreneurial training programme.
The hosting of the Tripartite Caribbean Employment Forum on 10-12 October 2006 to debate and demonstrate how the decent work approach can advance the development agenda in a globalizing world. The Forum resulted in the adoption of a Tripartite Declaration and Plan of Action for Realizing the Decent Work Agenda in the Caribbean
in which tripartite representatives resolved to formulate Decent Work Country Programmes to advance decent work priorities in national development agendas.
Technical advice and support for the launch of the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA).
The implementation of the Caribbean Labour Market Information System (CLMIS) Project funded by the United States Department of Labor (2002-2005). The project aimed to develop and strengthen national labour market information systems to generate reliable, timely and internationally-comparable labour statistics for use by government policymakers, employers and trade unions.
The implementation of a project for national employers' organizations in six countries (Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname) aimed at strengthening their support for the development of small and medium enterprises. The project was implemented from January 2004 to December 2005. Through research conducted, the SME sector and environment were defined and training needs identified. This resulted in employers' organizations offering training and advisory services to SMEs and extending representation. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, for example, the Saint Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the national employer organization, was able to actively participate in the drafting of a national SME policy.