On 01 March 2022, ICMPD and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) officially launched the Inspire project in an online event gathering key German, European and regional stakeholders as well as potential partners. The event aimed at familiarising prospective partners with the project objectives and approach while stimulating exchanges on promising practices and challenges related to private sector engagement in development-oriented skills partnerships.
The discussions of the launch event focused on whether mobility-based skills partnerships were an answer to the labour market needs of countries of origin and destination. Some of the main takeaways from the discussions included:
The importance of mutually beneficial partnerships that build the skills needed for the twin transition.
The benefits of addressing current and emerging labour market needs through mobility-based skills partnerships are manifold and can offer the opportunity to expand the skills pool available in both countries of origin and destination. Labour market needs in the twin transition are common to all countries in the world and thus call for space and creativity to incubate comprehensive, genuine and human-centred partnerships.
Whilst green and digital skills are by nature common to all countries in the world, they are also megatrends.
Labour markets of industries such as climate protection and digitalization change rapidly, making the success of any partnerships dependent on flexible arrangements. Such arrangements also include immigration laws that must change comparatively quickly to keep up with the increasingly flexible needs of the global labour market.
Private sector buy-in is critical to the success of skills partnerships.
The sustainability of mobility-based skills partnerships will also depend on understanding the needs of key stakeholders, including the private sector. Considering the rapidly changing labour markets, development actors must well design their engagement with the private sector. Employers seek swift solutions to their challenges, and recruiters must rapidly understand the changes in their labour markets. Creating an operational dialogue with the private sector can offer the possibility to design partnerships that genuinely respond to employers’ skills needs. Furthermore, any engagement with the private sector should be pragmatic and creative as the private sector is a key stakeholder in the labour market and is the driving force behind any successful skills partnerships.
The operational conclusions stemming from the discussions will feed into the project methodology.