Argentina’s G20 presidency has made the future of work a priority for achieving fair and sustainable development for all. Accordingly, in the Employment Working Group, the future of work provided the framework for three topics that posed key challenges: the formalisation of work and promotion of decent work, the advancement of skills and lifelong learning for inclusive growth and decent work, and the need to strengthen and adapt social protection systems.
The future of work provides great opportunities for job creation: technological advances will bring ever-increasing labour productivity, which can be leveraged to reach higher levels of inclusion to improve well-being.
However, the future of work poses diverse challenges for decent work. In that sense, one question is whether there will be enough jobs and what kind of jobs they will be. We must focus on the quality of those jobs and the eventual risk of increasing labour informality. And we should also promote the development of new and diverse skills from a lifelong-learning perspective.
This future should leave no one behind. We need to foster an inclusive agenda with two specific objectives: to continue working to reduce gender gaps and to facilitate increased inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market.
Progress and key achievements
As a result of the intense work at our meeting of labour ministers in Mendoza, we agreed on a declaration that fosters opportunities for an inclusive, fair and sustainable future of work. We also worked side by side with the ministers of education throughout this process. We agreed a joint declaration and a set of guidelines for skills development.
We agreed to work to ensure broad access to quality training to address skills mismatches and skills gaps and support our people through reskilling and upskilling strategies to increase their employability. To this end, we will foster a whole-of- government approach and promote a multi-stakeholder dialogue. Special attention should be paid to improving the employment situation of young people in order to achieve the G20 goal of reducing by 15% by 2025 the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market.
To promote labour formalisation and decent work, we endorsed the policy principles for promoting labour formalisation and decent work in the future of work and in the platform economy. It is essential to address any decent work deficits and to adapt – where necessary – labour legislation to cover all workers. Building on previous commitments, we also agreed on the G20 strategy to eradicate child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery in the world of work.
We also agreed on guidelines and principles for developing comprehensive social protection strategies, recognising the need to build inclusive social protection systems and to develop targeted actions to keep the right balance between the sustainability of the systems, universal coverage, adequate levels of protection and the portability of social security entitlements.
We focused on identifying gender gaps as a cross-cutting issue in the three priorities on the future of work. We analysed to what extent our policies were responding to reduce the gender participation gap. G20 members are implementing more integrated policies on this matter, but we still have a long way to go to reach the goal agreed in Brisbane in 2014.
Last but not least, we endorsed the G20 principles for the labour market integration of persons with disabilities aimed at promoting access to the labour market on an equal basis with others, as well as the availability of quality jobs for people with disabilities.
One key accomplishment for all G20 members was the construction of a forward-looking, multilateral agenda, working together to build a common base for addressing the critical challenge of the future of work that we all face. For Argentina, the decision to raise this topic required significant coordination. As an overarching priority, the future of work was treated in both the finance track and the sherpa track, which in turn required coordinated efforts between the Ministry of the Treasury and Finance and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security. While the focal points were different, they sought to complement each other. Within the sherpa track, the Employment Working Group proposed collaborating with the Education Working Group as well as the Digital Economy Task Force and the Development Working Group. All this coordination was highly valued by the G20 members and opened a door for more synergies in the future.
This coordination and the consensus achieved during this year of fruitful work constitutes an informed and fundamental contribution for our leaders at the G20 Buenos Aires Summit to address the challenges of the future of work and to create opportunities for all.