Social negotiators are often not trained in macroeconomics and may strongly need such training in order to be efficient, fact oriented and successful in social dialogue, be it tripartite or bipartite. This was the starting point for DECP to organize, with ITC ILO and the Dutch Trade Union FNV, a training for some African employers and workers representatives, to initiate them in economics.
The face-to-face part took place during the last week of June in the ILO Training Centre in Turin, but was preceded by an 8 week long e-learning course . The participants were high level employers and trade union representatives from East African countries , who directly participate in collective bargaining at different levels, or who are members of national councils for employment, social security or skills.
The training, which used very participatory methods, such as a daylong exercise on wage bargaining- in which concepts such as labour productivity were extensively used-, and a day long exercise on budgetary policy, was widely acclaimed by the participants. They appreciated the clarity in insights on economic facts they obtained. Also the bipartite approach, ensured by the inclusion of FNV sponsored participants from the workers side, helped to make this training a success.
Concrete follow up is now expected in several countries: some employers organisations intend to do some train-the-trainer activities on these subjects for their sector members, others intend to launch surveys in which they provide governments with up-to-date economic information on recent economic events and nearby prospects such as evolution in employment, economic activity, orders, and vacancies.