The COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown represent an unprecedented challenge for skills development systems. Lockdown is having an immediate impact on the world economy, which varies dramatically across sectors and across regions. Many sectors have nearly stopped operating, others are facing activity peaks with shortages of skilled workers. Some have already re-oriented their production, either to provide much needed masks, for instance, or to produce health equipment. Besides the loss of activity, workers have to face a new organization of work, e.g. sanitary constraints at the workplace, or telework. The impact of confinement is bound to be most severe for vulnerable workers, especially poor, informal-sector workers in low-income countries with daily earnings and no savings, raising concerns for their survival. Women, who are overrepresented among wage labourers, own-account workers and unpaid family workers, stand to lose the most. Young people face a particularly difficult entry into the labour market, which risks having long-term consequences on their careers and earnings.