The world must confront the question of how to enhance the rights of workers in the face of rapid industrialisation, climate and technological change.

That was the message delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the centenary session of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) where the outcomes of the Global Commission on the Future of Work are to be presented.

Ramaphosa co-chaired the commission with the Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven.

He says, “We know that the changing world of work also presents new opportunities. If we are to connect these changes for our benefit, rather than be shaped by them, we need a new approach.”

“That is why the Global Commission on the Future of Work has said that we need to invest in the capabilities of people, we need to invest in the institutions of the world of work, and we need to invest in decent, sustainable work.”

Ramaphosa says, “This approach is essential if we are to achieve what I would call a reinvigorated social contract that encompasses all factors that are fundamental for human development, including rights, access and opportunities.”

“The Commission proposes formal recognition of a universal commitment as well as entitlement to lifelong learning – what I would call a right that all of us should have for lifelong learning. Employees should be provided with suitable opportunities to acquire skills, reskill as well to up skill,” he adds.

The President says everyone should have opportunities.