Education International
Education International

G20: World leaders must now translate words into action

published 21 June 2012 updated 25 June 2012

EI supports the shift in language in the G20 Los Cabos Declaration from austerity to jobs, which is going in the right direction. But it warns that, unless there is coordinated action from G20 leaders, words will not be translated into the investment necessary to get people back to work.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said that working families without hope will want to see genuine coordinated action which delivers jobs and secure incomes.

In the days leading up to the G20 Summit labour leaders, led by the ITUC General Secretary, met with the heads of IMF, World Bank, OECD and WTO, as well as with some of the government leaders and labour ministers present in Los Cabos, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan, and President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina. They requested that the G20 undertakes action to bring down worldwide unemployment which has reached the staggering figure of 210 million.

In a joint declaration, trade unions and business organisations told G20 governments to invest in infrastructure enabling green investment to create jobs and inclusion of our young people by dramatically scaling up apprenticeships. They also agreed to work together with OECD and ILO to increase apprenticeship and internship programs for young people.

EI, part of the group that concluded the agreement, reminded the business community that successful apprenticeship and internships programs largely depend on the availability of high quality public education systems able to meet present day needs and bridge the skills gap.

“Governments must take their responsibility, invest in the teaching profession and in their public school systems rather than cutting back their education budgets,” emphasised EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen. “We expect the business community to support our advocacy for better public schools.”