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Interview with Dr. Gerhard Braun, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA)

Picture of Dr. Gerhard Brau, Vice President of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA)

Dr. Gerhard Braun, Vice President, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and Chair of the Employment and Education Taskforce, on the current challenges when it comes to skill formation and employment policies and how the Taskforce will address these in the B20 process.

You have taken on the position as Chair of the Employment & Education Task Force. What will be its priorities?

There are four key areas under the German G20 presidency: the future of work, female employment, migration and sustainable supply chains. These areas are linked through a number of priority topics in the field of employment and education, such as the current youth unemployment crisis or the effects of rapid technological changes. The Employment & Education Task Force will focus on these topics and on finding innovative and achievable solutions.

What are current challenges in the field of employment and education?

One of the most pressing issues we are facing today is youth unemployment. An overall high unemployment rate and difficulties in many developing countries to move from informal sector work to formal employment add to this crisis. This needs to be addressed with solutions that can only be found through the collaboration of business with governments and social partners. The access to labour markets needs to be facilitated and entrepreneurship has to be empowered. Also, vulnerable groups such as women or migrants have to be included in the process.

The Employment & Education Task Force will also deal with sustainable supply chains, which is one of the main priorities of the German G20 presidency. What will be the main focus of employers in this area?

In the discussion on sustainable global supply chains it is important to work towards an inclusive approach. Not only companies which are part of global supply chains should provide decent work conditions for their employees, but all employees should benefit of safe and fair work conditions. Therefore, we are working towards an inclusive approach based on the responsibility of the state to provide safe infrastructure and enforce legislation which creates incentives for companies to improve the working environment and to take preventive measures. The recently created Vision Zero Fund was the first step in this direction and the Employment & Education Task Force will concentrate on enhancing the role of the Fund also in the G20 context.

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