Leaders Discuss the Future of Work and Skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution with a Focus on India
Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General giving his keynote speech.

The 8th Bosphorus Summit took place from 27 to 30 November 2017 in Istanbul. One of the panels that attracted high interest entitled ‘Future of Work and Skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution: Case of India’ discussed how skills initiatives could be designed and delivered in an economy driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The panel focused on the links between technology, training, productivity and competitiveness and shared lessons learned as well as good practices from India’s skills development ecosystem. It also featured the global launch of “How the Private Sector Develops Skills: Lessons from India” publication of IICPSD. The panel was organized by Istanbul International Center for Private Sector and Development (IICPSD), International Cooperation Platform (ICP), UNDP India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). You may find the publication “How the Private Sector Develops Skills: Lessons from India” here: https://goo.gl/SbZJwv

The 4th Industrial Revolution is a blend of physical, digital and biological changes and involves the fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles. While new jobs are emerging in these new sectors, the automation put many occupations in the labour intensive sectors at risk. While the demand for highly skilled workers are increasing, workers with lower skill levels are becoming more vulnerable towards losing their jobs. As highlighted by World Economic Forum, 65% of children worldwide, who are starting primary school, will be working on occupations that do not yet exist. In this rapidly changing environment, skills development requires a fresh outlook as it is critical to plan and prepare the workforce for the future.

One of the countries which made skills development a high priority in this context is India. More young people live in India than in any other country, and their numbers are increasing for decades to come. More than 12 million enter the workforce each year, yet few have the skills required for employment. Government of India has thus set a target to skill 400 million people by 2022 and built a comprehensive ecosystem to deliver the skills needed for the changing world of work. It can be seen that changing sectors will require new skills and thus, new systems of education towards skills development.

The panel commenced with the key note addresses of Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Turkey, Kürşad Arat followed by UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Magdy Martínez-Solimán.

Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán emphasized in his keynote speech that “the focus of skills development is not just short-term employment. It is indeed true that the private sector needs a skilled workforce for productivity and competitiveness. But it is also important to realize that skills development is a pathway towards enriched choices for all, towards empowered and fulfilling lives. For individuals, skills are an enduring asset, which they can tap and nurture to overcome poverty and exclusion.”

The panel featured Manish Kumar, the Managing Director & CEO of National Skill Development Corporation, Dr. Singh, member of ILO Global Commission on the ‘Future of Work’ and Advisor to President of FICCI and Vandana Verma, IKEA Asia Liaison and Special Programme Lead, IKEA Foundation in India. The panel was moderated by Clement Chauvet, the Chief of Skills and Business Development, UNDP India.

Vandana Verma shared IKEA Foundation’s work and a lesson learned stating "We are supporting children and youth living in poverty to have better opportunities. From our work, one important lesson we learned is that women and youth can be the catalysts for change." IKEA Foundation supports Disha project, a partnership between UNDP and India Development Foundation (IDF). Disha project “aims to support one million underprivileged women in India to learn marketable skills and connect with income opportunities.” To learn more about Disha, please visit: https://goo.gl/EmczGY


The 8th Bosphorus Summit hosted events on topics ranging from sustainable development, trade and finance to urban transformation and humanitarian crises. It brought together participants from governments, development organizations, international organizations and the private sector. To Learn more about the Bosphorus Summit, please visit: http://www.bogazicizirvesi.org/en/

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