16 May 2018

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa On Youth, Women and People With Disabilities in the Workplace

press release

Future of Work to place youth, women & people with disabilities at the centre of its efforts

President Cyril Ramaphosa has affirmed it can no longer be business as usual when it comes to the creation of a just, humane and inclusive world of work for all.

The President, who was speaking as co-chair of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work in Geneva, Switzerland, has further said young people, women and people with disabilities must be at the centre of efforts by the global community for social justice as it responds to the challenges of a rapidly transforming world of work.

"The Future of Work will enhance the involvement of women, young people and disabled people in the world of work and how they can participate in a much more effective way. This concept will also, and most importantly, assist in creating more jobs, generate growth, and increasing more fairness," said President Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa together with Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, co-chaired the 3rd meeting of the Commission where they considered the Framework on the Global Commission's Final Report.

The Commission was emphatic that in recognising and preparing government, business and workers for the future of work, it is incumbent on all social partners to regard people as assets rather than expenses.

Such requires, amongst others, a new global social contract for creating and distributing value in the economy, including collaboration on enhancing productivity and reducing inequality.

Ensuring that there is an optimal and effective structure to drive the compilation of the Commission's Framework report on the Future of Work, decisively confronting endemic unemployment and building human capabilities to participate effectively in the world of work were some of the other core themes of discussion by the Commission.

The Commission seeks to develop appropriate responses by the global community to address inequality and amongst others informality of work. It also seeks to prepare labour, business and government for the profound changes in the institutions of work, and whether these would remain fit for purpose in the advent of challenges and opportunities offered by rapid technological advances.

The High-Level Global commission comprising of experts from government, business and labour was established by the ILO in 2017 to assess the rapid transformations taking place in the global economy and world of work, and identifying the key challenges and recommendations.

The work of the Global Commission aligns with government's focus on the creation of decent and sustainable jobs, and efforts to ensure young South Africans have the skills necessary to thrive in the changing workplace.

The President has concluded his working visit to Geneva, Switzerland, where he assumed his position as the new Co- Chair of the Global Commission on the Future of Work of the ILO.

He described his appointed to the Commission as an opportune moment for South Africa to a critical role and being part of crafting desired future of work.

The co-chairmanship will also see the President be one of the Heads of State that will lead the centenary celebrations at the International Labour Conference to take place in June 2019.

The President has this evening departed Switzerland for South Africa.

Issued by: The Presidency

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