Publication Date

January 2003


[From Preface] Since 1989, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have faced both challenges and opportunities in the field of human resource development. The challenges arise from major structural changes, such as economic restructuring and privatization and their adverse effects on economic growth and employment. Sluggish or unstable economic growth and the associated drop in labour demand, accompanied by an expansion of the informal economy, have contributed to high unemployment and the proliferation of precarious, poor quality jobs. This has resulted in significant waste of human resources. Apathy has spread among the emerging group of the working poor in formal and informal economies alike, undermining individual motivation to attend training and improve employability. At the same time, opportunities have emerged with the introduction of new forms of work organization and technologies, demanding high levels of skill and flexible working attitudes. As aspirations for high educational attainment remain strong across the region, there are good prospects for a high "social and economic return" on future investments in human resource development and training.

Trade Union Seminar Report, Prague, 24–26 June 2002. Organized by the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities, the ILO InFocus Programme on Skills, Knowledge and Employability, and the ILO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe.