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Transforming the future of work

President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder, ahead of the meeting of the Global Commission of Future of Work in Geneva, Switzerland.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for greater efforts to accelerate the creation of

a just, humane and inclusive world of employment for all saying it could no longer be business as usual.

The President was speaking as co-chair of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work in Geneva, Switzerland. He added that young people, women and those with disabilities must be at the centre of efforts by the global community for social justice as it responds to the chal- lenges of a rapidly transforming global workplace.

“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, generating growth, and increasing more fairness,” said President Ramaphosa. President Ramaphosa co-chaired the third meeting of the Commission with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven. The gathering considered the framework on the Global Commission’s Final Report which had focused partly on the issue of the disabled.

According to The Presidency, the commission is important as it seeks to convince business and government to regard workers ostensibly as an asset rather than an expense.

“This requires a new global social contract for creating and distributing value in the economy, including collaboration on en- hancing productivity and reducing inequality, among others,” the Presidency said in a statement.

The Commission’s Framework Future of Work report also probed endemic unemployment and building human capabilities to participate effectively in the world of work as 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 informality of work, among others. It also seeks to pre- pare labour, business and govern- ment for the profound changes in the institutions of work, and asks whether these would remain fit for purpose in the advent of challenges and opportunities offered by rapid technological advances.

The high-level global commis- sion, comprising experts from government, business and labour, was established by the ILO in 2017 to assess the rapid transformations taking place in the global econo- my and world of work, and identify key challenges and recommendations.

The work of the Global Com- mission 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.

President Ramaphosa assumed his position as the new co-chair of the commission while in Switzerland. According to The Presidency, he described his appointment to the commission as an opportune moment for South Africa to play a critical role and be part of crafting the desired future of work. The co-chairmanship means the President will be one of the Heads of State who will lead the centenary celebrations at the International Labour Conference in June 2019.

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