Skills and Lifelong Learning Specialist, Pretoria 161 views

Grade: P4

Vacancy no.: RAPS/3/2019/AF/02

Publication date: 17 December 2019

Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 24 January 2020

Job ID: 2253

Department: RO-Africa

Organization Unit: DWT/CO-Pretoria

Location: Pretoria

Contract type: Fixed Term

The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.

Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration at the screening and evaluation stage.

Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.

The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to [email protected]

Applications from qualified candidates from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future, would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here:–and-under-represented-member-States/?locale=en_GB

Successful completion of the Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates.


The position is located in the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT) for Eastern and Southern Africa and Country Office for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini, based in Pretoria (DWT/CO-Pretoria). DWT/CO-Pretoria provides high-quality, timely and integrated technical support to Country Offices under its geographical competence in the design, implementation and monitoring of Decent Work Country Programmes. This support takes into account the profound transformations in the world of work and is driven by a human-centred approach as set forth in the the ILO Declaration for the Future of Work (the Centenary Declaration), adopted by the International Labour Conference in June 2019. It includes technical and policy advice, information and analyses on promoting acquisition of skills, competencies and qualifications for all workers throughout their working lives in order to address existing and anticipated skills gaps, ensure that education and training systems are responsive to labour market needs and enhance workers capacity to make use of the opportunities available for decent work.

The position will support member States to establish outcomes, strategies and programmes for the countries and the regional bodies covered by DWT/CO-Pretoria, including the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and provide technical and policy advisory services to ILO constituents and other stakeholders on next generation skills and lifelong learning policies and systems. Activities will encompass policy advice, programme development, technical support/backstopping, capacity development and promotion of international labour standards and tripartism. The incumbent will work in close collaboration with other specialists in the DWT/CO team and provide technical guidance to the Chief Technical Advisers of development cooperation projects at the country, sub-regional and regional levels.

The Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Director of DWT/CO-Pretoria. Technical guidance and advice will be provided by the Skills and Employability Branch (SKILLS) of the Employment Policy Department at ILO headquarters.

Specific Duties

  • Conduct research and analyze trends and developments in the countries of the region, which have a direct bearing on the formulation of new generation skills and lifelong learning policies, strategies and systems to strengthen skills and lifelong learning policies, governance models and financing systems.
  • Provide advisory services to ILO constituents, regional bodies and other stakeholders, to develop policies, strategies and programmes with a view to identifying current skills mismatches, anticipating future skills needs, and integrating skills development into sector and national development strategies and employment policies, in line with the ILO conceptual and policy framework on skills for employment.
  • Provide technical and policy advisory services for designing and delivering innovative, flexible and inclusive learning options, including work-based learning and quality apprenticeships, particularly for women and persons in vulnerable situations, while focusing on meeting the needs of the rural and informal economy.
  • Develop project concept notes, actively mobilise resources for development cooperation projects and provide technical backstopping support to Chief Technical Advisors and other development cooperation project staff tasked with the implementation of skills development initiatives. In collaboration with ILO Country Offices, ensure the optimal use of resources through a One ILO approach.
  • In collaboration with the Skills and Employability Branch and the DWT/CO team, recommend and initiate innovative solutions and approaches to skills challenges in line with direction set forth in the ILO Centenary Declaration.

6. Maintain and develop relations with constituents and other key stakeholders with a view to establishing a regional network to assess and respond to their needs by sharing knowledge on the ILO’s principles and policies through the use of cost-effective digital and other technologies.

7. Coordinate analysis, documentation and dissemination of good practices linking skills development to decent work, and to regional and global knowledge-management systems, including the global knowledge-sharing platform on skills for employment. Promote knowledge sharing among development cooperation project staff and within the DWT/CO team.

8. Represent the office in Pretoria at international, regional and national forums, and provide high quality technical inputs to policy debates on skills development.

9. Provide inputs for the development of global products in order to maintain cross-regional coherence in ILO policy advice, approaches and methodologies, ensuring relevance of research, policy guidance and learning tools for constituents in the Eastern and Southern Africa.

10. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties

1. Lead, organize, plan and control the work of a technical unit.

2. Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes, This involves analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics, information or policy guidelines in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognized technical specialization.

3. Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes.

4. Assume full responsibility for policy formulation and providing policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of technical cooperation activities.

5. Develop project design, review proposals, formulate, revise and submit project proposals and negotiate funding.

6. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities.

7. Lead technical advisory missions.

8. Conduct seminars, workshops and technical meetings.

9. Prepare recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO recommendations on related technical fields.

10. Write manuals and training guides on related topics.

11. Disseminate information on action programmes through publications and press releases as well as ensuring representation at donors’ meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.

12. Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators.

13. Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, conference reports, Director General’s report to ILC).

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree in vocational education and training, human resources development, labour economics or other social sciences.


Eight years of professional experience at the national level or five years at the international level in vocational education, training, lifelong learning, continuing and adult education and skills development.


Excellent command of English. Working knowledge of French would be an advantage.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:

Synthesize research and reach empirically based conclusions on related subjects; provide seasoned advice on best practices, to address broader issues outside the field of specialization; formulate new concepts and methodologies; develop training materials, alternative courses of action, project proposals, policy, procedural matters and present them at high-level meetings; design and synthesize strategies for programme development in member States; produce reports (e.g. reports for regional conferences and the International Labour Conference, technical publications, training manuals and draft resolutions) and evaluate and monitor development cooperation activities and projects. Ability to mobilize resources for development cooperation projects. Expertise in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating complex educational, learning, training and skills development programmes; a bility to use and promote use of new educational technologies to promote diverse and user friendly learning options in pursuit of promoting lifelong learning options to promote transitions from school to work, work to work at all stages of active working life of people; adapt tools and approaches to local and national circumstances and policy objectives; relate the work of the programme to broader issues within coherent national policies that include skills development; adapt and develop training materials; write coherent programme reports in line with ILO standards and deadlines; develop and maintain effective collaboration within the UN system at the country level; aptitude and appreciation for knowledge-sharing and learning. Proven communication and drafting skills, both written and verbal; the ability to motivate and supervise staff effectively and cooperatively; clear understanding of gender mainstreaming and demonstrated capacity to integrate gender concerns into development initiatives; ability to form and develop knowledge sharing partnerships with a wide of range of actors external to the ILO; ability to conduct discussions with governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations, development banks and with other agencies as well as top-level professionals in related fields. Knowledge of the ILO and UN system and procedures is an advantage. Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.

Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit:

Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.

Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.

Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.

Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account – – should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

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