Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA)


ESSSASoutheast Asia is confronted with significant labour market challenges. The region is growing at a rapid pace, industry is becoming more diversified, and job requirements are demanding more complex and sophisticated skills. This initiative aims to address the issues of employment and skills, especially through an interaction platform for members.

INTERACTIVE WEB SPACE: click to register & join

ESSSA informative brochure


7th annual expert meeting of the initiative on Employment and Skills Strategies  in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) and GIZ/ RECOTVET Policy Dialogue: "Better Connecting the Skills System to the World of Work"
7-8 October, 2015, Cambodia

SEE THE RESULTS OF THE LAST EXPERT MEETING: 6th Expert Meeting of Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia region

The Southeast Asian region has experienced some of the highest growth rates in the world, with investments in skills playing a significant role in helping national economies to adjust to changes in working practices, advances in technology, and challenges associated with globalisation. In some countries this process has been more successfully managed and significant advances have been achieved in growth rates and employment levels, but in others it has resulted in stagnation of economic sectors, underemployment, rising unemployment levels and social exclusion for large sections of society.

The initiative on Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) facilitates the exchange of experiences on employment and skills development.

A joint OECD-ILO initiative

As part of its ongoing studies, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has identified many pilot projects in Sotheast Asia which embrace skills upgrading and the integration of the disadvantaged into the workforce and seek innovatively to tackle issues around the flight of talent.

The OECD and its LEED Programme (responsible for local economic and employment development) is already engaged in a policy dialogue on the governance of employment and skills with Asian economies who have expressed a growing interest in decentralisation, partnership and local employment and skills strategies.

In recognition of the complex form that these strategies must take in order to support a sustainable and equitable recovery, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD are working together to help government institutions and other agencies to share their experiences and engage in a process of mutual learning.


 ESSSA Objectives


Outcomes will be supported by the results of joint work by ILO and OECD carried out under ESSSA. 

Examples of joint work include background research on national and local initiatives, the results of a dedicated survey on employment and skills development policies in the region and other work to provide guidance on ways to rebuild sustainable employment at the local level.

Several conferences are being organised in the region to present the ESSSA outputs.

REPORT: Skills Development Pathways in Asia

All reports, research, events


Participants who are envisinged to participate in the initiative include local governments, employment services, training institutions, key partners in local development strategies (including representatives of national governments, employers' and workers' organisations, and selected research/support organisations), international development agencies (multilateral and bilateral) and ILO and OECD staff.

Priority will be given to local and national economic development practitioners.


Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and neighboring economies such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

CONTACT: For further information, please contact Jonathan Barr (OECD, Manager of the ESSSA initiative and Policy Analyst on local governance and employment).



The ESSSA project is developed by the OECD LEED Programme in collaboration with


ESSSA Partners


EC logo 2012

With the support of the European Commission‌