Skills Challenge Innovation Call: Finding solutions to skills mismatch

The ILO is calling on individuals and organizations to share innovative ideas and solutions to address the skills mismatch challenge. The ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call will recognize and support the development of solutions that aim to address the different forms and dimensions of skills mismatch.

These can include proposals to:

  • enhance the effectiveness of vocational education and training programs through innovative delivery and assessment partnerships;
  • improve the development and recognition of knowledge, skills, and attributes of employees through innovative work-based learning initiatives;
  • empower enterprises to better utilize the skills of their workers;
  • improve the collection, analysis, management and use of data and information on skill needs and labor market trends;
  • improve the training and employment of under-represented groups including migrant and refugees, people with disabilities, young people and women;
  • improve the provision of active labor market programs through the integrated provision of vocational and job search assistance, training and work placement for the unemployed; and
  • to establish new and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships to address skills mismatch at the regional, sectoral or local levels.

Who can apply?

Any individual or any formally constituted and registered organization/company in existence for at least two calendar years prior to the deadline. By organizations, we mean cooperatives, education and training institutions (including schools, public and private training providers and universities), government agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations, public and private enterprises, regional and sectoral bodies and research organizations.

We are open to all ideas and solutions at any stage of development. They can be at an early-stage or more mature innovation. They can be a one person’s idea or involve a collaborative joint effort from different actors, such as governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

An expert evaluation panel will evaluate all proposals and the winner will receive support to turn the idea into reality and cement their role as innovators in skills development.

What will the winner get?

The winning entry will receive substantial support comprised on the following:

  • Financial support: The winner will receive a $50,000 grant to implement the proposed solution;
  • Six-month innovation lab: The winner will receive technical support to transform the idea into a prototype ready to be piloted, including through boot camps and remote mentoring via a virtual platform;
  • Worldwide visibility: The winner will receive support through awareness-raising of the idea and solution, including an invitation to a global event to present the innovation concept to potential partners and sponsors, press articles in media channels, videos, among others;
  • Extended network and partnerships: The winner and shortlisted entries will join the ILO’s Global Network of Skills Innovators. They will have the opportunity to exchange with other innovators and share their solutions with ILO’s stakeholders. 

What are the application process and key dates?

To submit your idea or solution, applicants should:

  1. Go to the Skills Challenge Innovation Call webpage ;
  2. Revise the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions  of the competition;
  3. Develop the proposal and secure support from partners;
  4. Complete the form available on the website;
  5. Send the completed form and supporting documents to by 13 April 2020 (midnight, Geneva time).

Applications and supporting documents can be submitted in English, French, and Spanish. There is no fee to participate in the Call. Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their application has been received. Incomplete or late responses will not be considered.

Key dates and deadlines: 

  • Launch of the Call: 29 January 2020;
  • The submission deadline for ideas: 13 April 2020 (midnight, Geneva time);
  • Announcement of winner: 14 May 2020;
  • Skills Innovation Lab commences September 2020;



Get in touch with our team through or WhatsApp number +255755219607.


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Heri Marco

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