In many Member States of the Commonwealth, unemployment and low productivity are chronic issues, especially for youth, persons with disabilities (PWD), and women. The labour force participation rate of young people (aged 15–24) continues to decline (ILO, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, leading to an increase in the demand for new skills. New skilling covers all types of continuous learning to help build skills in high demand. This includes upskilling current capabilities and reskilling for building capabilities for technical, vocational and professional competencies.
COL facilitates partner institutions to work collaboratively with industry and the labour market to offer equitable online, blended and work-based training to achieve scale and reduce costs. COL does this through Skills Online and Technical and Vocational Skills Development initiatives.