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Published on Apr 11, 2012
In a globalized environment, labour markets are more and more demanding diversified skills from job seekers. The high specialisation in a number of industries as well as the growing significance of being able to adapt to a fast pace of change, require profiles that do not always fit with traditional qualifications. International players in the field of labour and employment, like the International Labour Organization and the European Commission, have recognized this development. They have accommodated the topic of skills mobility throughout mindsets, sectors and countries high up on their agendas. The current international discussion focuses on three aspects: First, the classical view of education leading to a stable job profile needs to be updated by looking at and recognizing of a person's skills. Those skills will be strongly influenced by education, but also by experience and other, more informal factors. Second, the role of the state is highlighted in this. Ministries of labour and their public employment services (PES) need to coordinate the skilling process, by linking education to the labour market, by ensuring smooth transitions of skills between jobs and countries, and by facilitating public-private partnership. Thirdly, the discussion must not stop at high skills, but take a decided step towards the integration of low-skilled and unskilled workforce into the labour market. WAPES discussed those topics in their event on skills mobility in Macrh 2012 in Bonn.