Skills development key for SEA workers to move into new jobs
Countries in South-east Asia should consider developing industry transformation maps in key sectors to equip workers for new and repositioned jobs, says a new study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“While jobs have been lost to automation in recent years, new jobs will emerge as new and disruptive technologies are adopted. Now is the time to invest in skills development that will help displaced workers acquire the abilities necessary to move into new jobs and help job-seekers access quality jobs for greater prosperity,” said Woochong Um, Director General of ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department.
Based on employer surveys, the ADB study reports that there are large potential returns to be reaped by businesses, stemming from productivity increases from fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies.
“While the region may face challenges in moving the displaced workers into new jobs due to inadequate skills, we are confident that countries will design appropriate policies and invest in workforce skills particularly to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery,” said Ramesh Subramaniam, ADB Director General for South-east Asia.
ADB recommends strengthening on-the-job training and skills development for future jobs, and urges the development of industry-led technical and vocational education and training programmes equipped for 4IR.