G20 calls for a more inclusive future of work

The declaration of the G20 Employment Ministerial Meeting calls for bridging the gender gap and increasing labour market integration for people with disabilities.

The G20 Employment Ministerial Meeting in Mendoza ended this afternoon with a declaration that calls for “an inclusive, fair and sustainable future of work.” It includes recommendations for addressing the gender gap, as well as the obstacles faced by people with disabilities and the employment situation of young people, among other issues.  

At the end of a week centred on the future of work, one of the priorities of the Argentine G20 presidency, ministers insisted on the need for training in skills, and for setting “innovative institutional frameworks.”

They also recognized the “significant changes driven by digitalization,” such as automation and demographic transitions. “Current challenges require us to develop multidimensional responses and to put people, work and livelihoods at the heart of our strategies,” the declaration reads, while praising the “fruitful cooperation” of the G20 education ministers.

In this regard, the document puts special emphasis on skills, an issue also addressed in the declarations issued after the G20 Education Ministerial Meeting and the G20 Education and Employment Ministerial Meeting earlier in the week. All three documents address the need to “unleash people’s potential through an innovative and coordinated skills development policy.”

The Employment Ministerial text reads that it is therefore necessary to apply “an inclusive and lifelong learning approach” and highlights the need to improve the employment situation of young people. The document also looks into women’s participation in the labour market, with the objective of reducing the gender gap by 25% by the year 2025.

“We recognize that countries have made valuable progress,” the document reads, putting special attention on achieving “a more equal distribution of care responsibilities between men and women” and on preventing the creation of new gender gaps. Additionally, it suggests “increasing the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related skills training.”

The declaration also refers to promoting labour market integration of people with disabilities. In this regard, the future of work provides a technology-based opportunity, which is discussed in an annex endorsed by the G20 ministers.

Finally, the declaration underscores the consensus reached on promoting formalization, comprehensive social protection and eradicating child labour and human trafficking. It calls for assessing social protection systems. “In the context of the future of work, social protection systems may face serious challenges regarding their sustainability, universal coverage and adequate level of protection,” it adds.