Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

6th Expert Meeting of Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia


"How to build effective strategies to reduce skills mismatches while fostering quality job creation and growth?"

17-18 September 2014

Bangkok, Thailand


The Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) Initiative

The Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) initiative is led by the OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme, in collaboration with ASEAN, the ILO, the Asian Development Bank, and supported by the European Commission. Since 2008, ESSSA has been helping countries within the Southeast Asia region to design policies, which tackle cross-cutting labour market issues, build the capacity of practitioners in implementing effective employment and economic development strategies, and develop governance mechanisms, which foster greater policy coordination and integration.


The ESSSA initiative gathers policy makers, practitioners and researchers from all ASEAN members (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and neighbouring countries including People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, India, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Other countries, such as the United States and members of the European Union, also participate in the activities to share their policy experience when relevant.


The ESSSA initiative builds on the work of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED), which has provided guidance to government and communities since 1982 on how to respond to economic change and tackle complex problems in a fast-changing world. It draws on comparative analysis of policy experiences from some 50 countries from the five continents in fostering economic growth, employment and inclusion. LEED has been increasingly present in Southeast Asia to learn from the region’s innovative skills development strategies. In exchange the region has learned from the OECD’s experience in building effective partnerships and breaking down policy silos. The LEED Committee, the Programme’s governing board, invites Southeast Asian countries to join as full participants in its regular activities.

The 6th Expert Meeting

The ‌‌‌6th expert meeting of the Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) initiative  was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 17-18 September 2014. The meeting focused on building effective strategies to reduce skills mismatches while fostering quality job creation and growth. It was hosted by the Ministry of Labour of Thailand and brought together senior government officials from employment, training, and economic development departments across the region to discuss the latest successful policy innovations in boosting job creation, employment, and skills.

The objectives of the conference were to explore:

  • policy approaches and strategies to identify skills mismatches and increase the link between training and business needs;
  • what labour market and education policies are successful to provide good employment opportunities for youth and develop their labour force attachment
  • skills upgrading strategies that can help SMEs to improve their productivity and create more jobs
  • the role of local employment and training agencies in improving job quality and productivity


Download the agenda here

Download the Summary of the 6th Expert meeting of ESSSA here



 see more photos here...




Jonathan Barr, OECD Policy Analyst, Manager of the ESSSA Initiative, email :

More information on the ‌‌‌‌ESSSA Initiative here