Geneva, November 25, 2013– The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is coordinating a global coalition of international financial institutions (IFIs), the private sector and other development partners, including the International Labour Organization, academics and think tanks, to work together on the jobs agenda. The partnership, which is called Let’s Work, builds on the findings and successful launch of the IFC Jobs Study in January 2013, when 28 IFIs focused on private sector development agreed to work together to create more and better jobs, promote the inclusion of vulnerable groups and help the private sector strengthen their value chains.
Among the key potential private sector partners is the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). A global CEO-led coalition of some 200 forward-thinking companies, WBCSD is committed to promoting business solutions for a sustainable future. Within its Action2020 strategic framework, the WBCSD identified “skills and employment” as one of nine priority areas. The Council is currently developing business solutions to reach measurable and actionable goals to create quality jobs, narrow the skills gap, and reduce vulnerable employment by the end of the decade.
In order to reach the ambitious goals set in Action2020, the WBCSD is exploring opportunities with Let’s Work. “While the private sector is the most important actor in creating jobs – as rightly highlighted in IFC’s Jobs Study – partnerships with other stakeholders are key to bridge the skills gap and substantially scale productive employment opportunities. We therefore strongly welcome IFC’s initiative to bring together private sector companies, IFIs and other partners in a collaborative approach,” said WBCSD President Peter Bakker.
IFC and the WBCSD are exploring collaboration in particular in the areas of measuring the effects of private sector activities on both the quantity and quality of jobs, and finding ways to strengthen these effects, both at the company and the policy level.
To date, several leaders in development have already indicated they want to join the partnership: the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Labour Organization, the Private Infrastructure Development Group and the Overseas Development Institute. Several others have indicated their interest. Let’s Work is looking to private sector companies and business organizations, such as the WBCSD, to provide practical experiences and perspective vital to the partnership’s overall goals and success.
More on IFC’s Let’s Work partnership
Throughout the next three years, the Let’s Work partnership will implement job-creation strategies both at the country level (from fragile and conflict-affected states to low- and middle-income countries) and also at the company level. These pilot programs will identify sectors and areas that have the most potential to create more and better jobs, help remove obstacles and get going private-sector led job growth.
At the country level, the Let’s Work initiative will produce guidance notes, good-practice lessons and training and learning events. At the company level, the partnership will work with specific organizations to articulate and strengthen their job creation effects by focusing on value chain development. It will also develop and refine methods and data for estimating direct and indirect jobs.
The Let’s Work partnership focuses not only on the quantity of jobs created but their quality as well, such as positive working relations, safety and health policies, career advancement opportunities and basic human resource standards. Let’s Work will harness the collective knowledge of the partners and identify concrete ways to achieve shared goals – such as the ones defined in the WBCSD’s Action2020 framework – efficiently and more quickly.
For more information
· IFC Let’s Work: www.ifc.org/letswork
· WBCSD Action2020 initiative, Twitter hashtag: #action2020