Foreword

Developing relevant skills and using them effectively is crucial for Tlaxcala’s ability to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world.

In recent years, Tlaxcala has made significant progress in strengthening its skills system and improving its economic and social performance. However, successive waves of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic have the potential to reverse the years of progress achieved. With depressed demand for goods and services and reduced international mobility, the bedrock of Tlaxcala’s economy has suffered: export volumes have shrunk and inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) have dwindled. As a result, Tlaxcala’s skills system has had to respond to significant challenges, including unemployment spikes and worsening inequalities.

With the COVID-19 disruption potentially set to further accelerate certain megatrends identified in this report, such as automation and digitalisation, the nature of many jobs of the future is likely to change, together with the skills required to undertake these jobs. In this context, a resilient and responsive skills system will have an essential role to play in Tlaxcala’s post-pandemic recovery.

The pressure for Tlaxcala to swiftly recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis is further magnified by the need to reap full benefits from the United States-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which has replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With stronger worker protection measures and a higher quota for automobile production originating in North America under the USMCA, Tlaxcala will need to ensure that it is developing and using the skills of its people as effectively and efficiently as possible in order to remain competitive.

In recent years, Tlaxcala has laid the foundations of a skills architecture capable of responding to the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. The State Development Plan 2017-2021 (Plan Estatal de Desarollo 2017-2021) identifies key challenges for developing and using people’s skills, and sets out a vision for addressing these challenges to foster the competitiveness of Tlaxcala’s economy and the inclusiveness of its society. This report aims to further build on the basis established by the State Development Plan. The OECD worked collaboratively with Tlaxcala to identify targeted policy responses to support the state’s efforts in responding to both long-standing and newly emerging skills challenges and needs. The process involved an in-depth analysis of Tlaxcala’s skills system and widespread engagement with over 100 Tlaxcalan stakeholders, culminating in a set of tailored recommendations presented in this report.

The OECD stands ready to support Tlaxcala further as it seeks to implement effective skills policies, and continues its transition to a knowledge-based economy and society.

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