Research Seminar on the Impact of COVID-19 on Skilling, Upskilling and Reskilling in Enterprises

Research Seminar on the Impact of COVID-19 on Skilling, Upskilling and Reskilling in Enterprises

28 June 2021 (13:00-14:30 CEST/23:00 NZST)


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant, unprecedented changes to the way many of us work and learn. As uncertainty about the future of work increases, it is becoming even more necessary that people are empowered with the right skills through timely and relevant skilling, upskilling and reskilling efforts. This is so people can become more agile and resilient, and able to cope with the challenges posed not only by the current pandemic but also by future developments more generally.

In view of the significant interruption to skills development activities due to the pandemic, several international organizations conducted a global online survey to shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on skilling, upskilling and reskilling of employees, apprentices and interns/trainees in enterprises and other organizations.

The global survey and the survey report are the result of collaboration between ten key international and regional development partners: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Commission (EC), the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Bank Group (WBG).

The survey focused on three main areas:

  1. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on skilling, upskilling and reskilling of employees, apprentices and interns/trainees.
  2. The good practices and innovative solutions instigated by various enterprises and other organizations to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
  3. Policy recommendations to address the impact of the pandemic once lock-downs and other restrictions are lifted and in the future.


Objectives of the seminar

The main objectives of the seminar are to:

  • present the key findings from the global survey;
  • launch the survey report; and
  • highlight innovative solutions and policy options to enhance the agility and resilience of skills development systems in the long-run.


Speakers and audience

The research seminar is an open, online event. The speakers will be the representatives of the 10 development partners who collaborated on the survey.
As it is an open event, anyone interested in this topic can register for this webinar using the link below:



The working language of the webinar will be English.

Draft Agenda

Welcome and introduction to the agenda

13:00 – 13:04 Ashwani Aggarwal, Team Leader for workgroup (WBL, Apprenticeships, RPL, Core Skills), ILO

Opening remarks

13:05 – 13:13 Borhene Chakroun, Director, Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems Division, UNESCO

Presentation of key findings

13:13 – 13:22 Ashwani Aggarwal

Launch of the report jointly by all development partners

13:23 – 13:25 Launch of the report “Skilling, upskilling and reskilling of employees, apprentices & interns during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a global survey of enterprises“ by all development partners

Panel discussions

13:25 – 14:00 Panel 1: Driving work based learning solutions for skills and employment creation: Lessons from the Survey (to be finalised based on participants’ suggestions)
Moderator: Sangheon Lee, Director, Employment Policy Department, ILO (tbc)
Chiara Riondino, Head of unit (VET, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning), European Commission
Cesare Onestini, Director, European Training Foundation
Ian Walker, Manager, Jobs Group, World Bank
● African Development Bank (TBC)

14:00 – 14:25 Panel 2: The Future of Work and Skilling beyond Covid- preparing for inclusive, sustainable and resilient Growth (to be finalised based on participants’ suggestions)
Moderator: Nazrene Mannie, Executive Director, GAN Global
Jürgen Siebel, Executive Director, CEDEFOP
Shanti Jagannathan, Principal Education Specialist, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank

Closing remarks

14:25 – 14:30 Srinivas B Reddy, Chief, Skills and Employability Branch, ILO (tbc)