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Skill Foundation and the SDGs: 2030 Agenda

Decent work and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development


After several years of intensive negotiations and dialogue bringing together not only governments, civil society but also millions of ordinary people around the world, UN member states have unanimously agreed  what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described as the “most inclusive development agenda the world has ever seen”.

The 2030 Agenda embraces the three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental. It has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will build on the progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) . It was formally adopted by world leaders gathering at a United Nations special summit in September 2015 in New York.

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development puts people and planet at its centre and gives the international community the impetus it needs to work together to tackle the formidable challenges confronting humanity, including those in the world of work.

Decent work – Key to sustainable development

It is estimated that over 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the global working age population. That’s around 40 million per year. We also need to improve conditions for the some 780 million women and men who are working but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of USD 2 a-day poverty.

The importance of decent work  in achieving sustainable development is highlighted by Goal 8  which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. Reference