Skills and Employability Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Senegal

International Labor Organization


Skills and Employability Specialist
Grade: P4
Vacancy no.: RAPS/2/2023/AF/02
Publication date: 21 April 2023
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 23 May 2023

Job ID: 10737
Department: RO-Africa
Organization Unit: DWT/CO-Dakar
Location: Dakar
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 ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.

Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.

Applications from candidates who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.

The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to

The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).

Applicants 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: ILO Jobs: Non- and under-represented Member States

In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.

Notwithstanding the general considerations set out in the ILO Staff Regulations, this vacancy announcement is the only authoritative document pertaining to the qualifications required for this position. The minimum required qualifications were determined in view of the specific duties and responsibilities of this position.

The specific language requirements for this position are detailed hereunder. However, candidates applying for the professional category vacancies who have not already successfully completed their probationary period within the ILO and whose mother tongue is not one of the working languages of the Office (English, French and Spanish), shall be required to possess a fully satisfactory working knowledge of at least one of the ILO working languages. If appointed they may be required to acquire a knowledge of a second working language of the Office during their initial years of service.

Please note that in the context of the new ILO organigram, the naming of the departments may be subject to change.

The position is located in the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for West Africa (DWT/CO-Dakar) based in Dakar, Senegal. DWTs provide high quality, timely, and integrated technical support to country offices in the design, implementation and monitoring of Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCP). This support considers the profound transformations in the world of work and is driven by a human-centred approach as set forth in the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

The position will be responsible for implementation in the sub-region of the ILO strategy on skills and lifelong learning for 2022–30, through technical and policy advisory services to ILO constituents, the mainstreaming of skills development and lifelong learning into broader policies and strategies and, capacity development of ILO constituents. The position will also be responsible for the design, monitoring, evaluation, and technical backstopping of development cooperation projects in the field of skills development and lifelong learning which includes targeting both formal and informal skills development systems.

Significant emphasis will be given to skills anticipation and development in the context of greening / just transition, the transition of skills development systems to digital learning, apprenticeship systems and programmes, the training of women and persons in situations of vulnerability and fragility, and of workers in the rural and informal economies. The incumbent will develop and maintain partnerships with ILO constituents, regional organisations, and other stakeholders; facilitate, support and strengthen the technical expertise in the countries to serve Decent Work programme priorities; and provide advice for up-scaling projects to policy levels.

The position reports to the Director of DWT/CO-Dakar and receives technical guidance and advice from the Skills and Employability Branch of the Employment Policy Department. The position contributes to a regional skills cluster within the Africa region, and closely collaborates with Country Offices in the sub-region.

Specific Duties

  1. Lead research activities, analyse developments and trends in the countries of the sub-region which have an influence on skills development policies, strategies and systems, employment promotion and human development strategies, as well as programmatic frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCFs) and ILO Decent Work Country Programmes.
  2. Provide advisory services to ILO constituents, regional organisations, and other stakeholders, to develop policies, strategies, and programmes with a view to identifying skills mismatches, anticipating 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 quality apprenticeships, work-based learning particularly for women and persons in situations of vulnerability and fragility, while focusing on meeting the needs of the rural and informal economies.
  3. Maintain and strengthen relations with ILO constituents and other key stakeholders towards greater ratification of ILO conventions related to skills development, and to their improved implementation within national contexts.
  4. Actively identify specific opportunities for resource mobilization and contribute to formulating development cooperation project proposals for submission to public and private donors. Provide technical backstopping support to Chief Technical Advisors, National Project Coordinators and other development cooperation project staff assigned to the implementation of projects, collaborating with ILO Country Offices in order to maximize the use of resources.
  5. Provide technical assistance and lead the development of systems to sustain cooperation between public and private training systems, industrial sectors, and other important stakeholders and to link the training provision to the aspirations of people and the needs of employers and emerging employment-creating industries and sectors.
  6. In collaboration with the DWT/CO team, Skills and Employability Branch, recommend and initiate innovative solutions and approaches including digitalisation of skills systems, promoting blended learning programmes and innovative skilling, reskilling and upskilling strategies to skills challenges in line with ILO policies and guidance documents and the direction set forth in the ILO Centenary Declaration on skills and lifelong learning.
  7. Maintain and strengthen relations with ILO constituents and other key stakeholders with a view to establishing a wide 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.
  8. Coordinate documentation and analysis of good practices linking skills development to decent work. Document the results of development cooperation projects using the ILO Service Tracker, and analyse them. Promote knowledge sharing among development cooperation project staff and within the DWT/CO team. Disseminate findings and lessons learnt through regional and global knowledge-management platforms.
  9. Represent the office in Dakar at international, regional and national forums, and provide high quality technical inputs to policy debates on skills development.
  10. Provide inputs to the development of global products to maintain cross-regional coherence in ILO policy advice, approaches and methodologies, ensuring relevance of research, policy guidance and learning tools for constituents in West Africa.
  11. 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. Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes, This involves: re-analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics and information or policy guidelines, in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognised technical specialisation.
  2. Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes.
  3. Provide policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of development cooperation activities.
  4. Formulate and submit project proposals and seek funding.
  5. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities.
  6. Undertake technical advisory missions independently or in collaboration with other specialists.
  7. Conduct seminars, workshops and technical meetings and training courses.
  8. Prepare draft recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO Recommendations or Conventions on related technical fields.
  9. Write manuals and/or training guides on related topics.
  10. Disseminate information on programmes through publications and, press releases, as well as ensuring representation at donors’ meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.
  11. Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators.
  12. Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, regional meetings and conference reports).
  13. Participate in tripartite reviews on development cooperation activities and international meetings and conferences.

Required qualifications

Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in economics, education and training, related social sciences field or other relevant field.
A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in one of the afore-mentioned fields or other relevant field with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the required experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Seven years of experience, including at the international level in human resources development, vocational education and training and skills development policies and programme implementation, including for the informal economy. Experience in design and implementation of development cooperation projects in skills development and relevant work in developing countries.

Excellent command of French or English and a working knowledge of the other.

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

Technical competencies

Expertise in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating complex educational, learning, training and skills development programmes; ability to use and foster the use of new educational technologies and to promote diverse and user friendly learning options supporting lifelong learning, transitions from school to work, and work to work at all stages of active working life of people; adapt tools and approaches to local and national contexts 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; understanding of gender mainstreaming and ability to integrate gender concerns into development initiatives; develop and maintain effective collaboration within the UN system at the country level; Knowledge of the ILO and UN system and procedures is an advantage.
Ability to: 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 ILC, technical publications, training manuals and draft resolutions) and evaluate and monitor development cooperation activities and projects.

Behavioural competencies
Add here behavioural competencies. Aptitude and appreciation for knowledge-sharing and learning; proven written and verbal communication and skills; ability to motivate and supervise staff effectively and cooperatively; 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; 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 the ILO Jobs International Recruitment page.

Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at

Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website. 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.

The ILO has zero tolerance for acts of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and is determined to ensure that all staff members and all beneficiaries of ILO assistance do not suffer, directly or indirectly, from sexual exploitation and abuse.
To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organisation, the ILO may conduct a background verification of candidates under consideration.

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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