Social dialogue is defined by the ILO as including all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It can exist as a tripartite process, with the government as an official party to the dialogue, or it may consist of bipartite relations only between labour and management (or trade unions and employers' organizations). This Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations will develop ILO constituents' knowledge and skills in engaging in successful social dialogue at all levels. An interactive and stimulating activity, it is designed and implemented in conjunction with the ILO. The primary goal of the ILO is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity. Social dialogue plays a key role in achieving this objective. It is a means of strengthening democratic decision-making and achieving decent work, as well as an end in itself. As much as social dialogue may differ from country to country, the overriding principles of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining remain the same. Indeed, these are essential preconditions for sound social dialogue and industrial relations. The chief aim of social dialogue is to improve the quality of decisions and policies by involving the main stakeholders in the world of work, notably employers, workers and their representatives. Successful social dialogue structures and processes have the potential to resolve important economic and social issues, deal with crises such as COVID-19, encourage good governance, reduce inequality and promote growth. Social dialogue may take different forms. At national and other levels (enterprise, sectoral, cross-border), tripartite dialogue enables governments, businesses, employers, and workers and their representatives, acting as equal and independent partners, to find solutions to issues of common interest. Collective bargaining enables an employer or a group of employers, on the one hand, and one or more workers' organizations, on the other, to jointly determine working conditions and terms of employment, regulate relations between employers and workers, and/or regulate relations between employers or their organizations and workers' organizations. This unique and distinct form of social dialogue plays a key role in the governance of the labour market. The extent of social dialogue has a direct impact on the climate of social peace and stability, as well as the governance of the labour market and the economy as a whole. There is no one-size-fits-all model of social dialogue that can be readily exported from one context to another. However, there is a rich diversity of institutional arrangements, legal frameworks, traditions and practices in different part of the world. Adapting social dialogue to specific situations is key to ensuring full ownership and sustainability of the social dialogue process. This Academy is a unique opportunity for participants to build their knowledge of the different forms of and approaches to social dialogue and industrial relations, and discover how these can shape effective responses to contemporary global challenges.
Officials of ministries of labour and other relevant ministries (finance, social security, education, gender equality, social policies and so on); representatives of employers' organizations; representatives of workers' organizations; members and staff of national tripartite bodies and other social dialogue institutions, such as the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS); personnel working for institutions involved in promoting social dialogue (including academic and research institutions, and non-governmental organizations); ILO officials.