How to respond to changes in national labour markets from IR4.0? A perspective for ASEAN member states

   Posted on 14.04.2020 by SEA-VET Content, The Asia Foundation


The Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) will bring a number of challenges to ASEAN policy-makers. A report recently published in March 2020 by The ASIA Foundation, in partnership with Microsoft, has examined the challenges and suggests steps that will benefit the region’s economies. 

The paper highlights that policy reforms should: 

(a) improve data and evidence for policy making;

(b) make education and vocational education training more adaptable and responsive; and 

(c) promote more innovative economies. 

In The Future of Work Across ASEAN, recommendations, which work towards the above objectives, have been provided to support ASEAN policy-makers to measure and respond to technology-driven changes in local labour markets.  

  1. Policy partnerships to improve labour market dashboards.

    IR4.0 increases the frequency of change in skills demand, increases variability and and accelerates the process of labour market innovation. In order to keep up with these challenges, it is recommended that governments expand access to key data and knowledgeable resources; and enhance the capacity to craft responsive and timely upskilling policies.

  2. Enhanced capacity to deliver skills training that fits the market. 

    Traditional methods currently employed do not respond to increasing variability, and workers remain unclear about resources that are made available to them. To tackle this, it was recommended to improve the accessibility and discoverability of upskilling resources and design and promote creative models of continued learning. This recommendation serves to upgrade the existing education and vocational training ecosystems.

  3. Structural Reforms that promote more innovative economies. 

    ASEAN policy-makers need to sustain the sectors of the economy that drive growth but are challenged by the effects of new and emerging technologies by ensuring that they are able to track and predict its effects. This highlights the importance of putting much focus onto growing the local digital and service economies, and to use cross-sectoral collaboration and experimentation to understand and prepare for future innovations.

To read more about the report, please visit the publication

SEA-VET Content
, The Asia Foundation

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