In Focus

OECD-ICMPD hold a joint conference on Skills Mobility Partnerships

09 July 2024


On 19 June 2024, ICMPD and the OECD held a joint conference on Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs), in Paris, France. The event, organised under the auspices of Greece’s 2024 Chairmanship of the ICMPD Steering Group, brought together approximately 130 representatives from governments, international organisations, the European Commission, and the private sector to discuss challenges, opportunities, and innovations shaping the future of labour mobility initiatives and legal labour migration in general.

The conference highlighted the urgent need for collaborative solutions as countries navigate varying demographic, technological and socio-economic dynamics, with some destination countries facing severe labour deficits while origin countries grapple with high unemployment rates. Labour mobility initiatives were discussed as a pivotal strategy to address these challenges, enabling partners to bridge labour gaps and propel their development agendas forward effectively. 

The event showed recent developments regarding labour mobility initiatives and highlighted the complex realities of different countries and stakeholders. Participants emphasised the vital components for achieving successful implementation of skills mobility partnerships, such as streamlining bureaucratic processes, enhancing qualification recognition procedures, ensuring proper skills matching as well as fostering improved coordination among all stakeholders involved in labour mobility. In addition, the transformative potential of private sector investment and involvement regarding skills development was highlighted. 

Recommendations drawn from the event include the necessity for enhanced evaluation methodologies to accurately measure the long-term and societal impacts of SMP initiatives. Additionally, there was a resounding call to bolster training and education systems in the countries of origin. This would enable these nations to leverage their demographic dividend, meet the evolving needs of both national and international job markets, and ultimately contribute to the shared objective of future proofing labour markets.