Human resources development for a fast-changing world
About the Event
In the final statement of the 31. ASEAN summit in Manila in November 2017, ASEAN leaders “underscored the importance for appropriate policy responses to the onset of the Fourth industrial revolution in many relevant areas such as I.C.T. infrastructure and education.” They “recognised that ASEAN should capitalise on our young, educated and technology-savvy population to help boost the region’s economic growth and prosperity.”
Numerous studies have examined the role of human resources for “Industry 4.0 Readiness” in Southeast Asia (e.g. ILO (2016), ADB (2018), Oxford Economics and Cisco (2018)). They have highlighted the need for concerted and determined action of business and industry and ASEAN member states to realise the potentials and mitigate the risks from economic transformation due to the introduction and commercialisation of innovative technologies.
Supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the Government of Viet Nam, during its 2020 Chairmanship of ASEAN, takes the lead in the development of an ASEAN Declaration to provide guidance and invigorate efforts to provide adequately trained Human Resources for the ASEAN region.
To kick-off the development process of the ASEAN Declaration, the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in its role as 2020 Chair of the ASEAN Senior Labour Officials’ Meeting (SLOM) is going to host the
Regional high-level workshop “Human Resources Development for a Fast-Changing World” in Ha Long, Viet Nam on 14 and 15 October 2019.
The event is co-hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat and RECOTVET, the German government’s TVET cooperation programme for the ASEAN region.
High level representatives of the ASEAN Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM) and Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED), the ASEAN BAC’s ASEAN Future Workforce Council as well as representatives of relevant regional and international organisations attended the workshop.
In his opening remarks, Dr Le Van Thanh, Vice Minister of MoLISA, highlighted the relevance of adequately trained human resources as a bottleneck for sustainable development and the resilience of ASEAN economies in a time of economic transformation and technological progress. He stressed the need to tackle the human resources challenge in a spirit of cooperation among ASEAN member countries and stakeholders.
In her key note address Dr Elisabetta Gentile, economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), analysed the likely consequences for labour markets of the introduction of new technologies often labelled “the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)”. While automation induces a major shift in demand away from manual and routine jobs the growth in cognitive non-routine jobs and positive welfare effects give reasons to be optimistic about the prospects of the region. Labour mobility and skills mobility, including digital skills mobility can complement education and life-long learning as means to address the region’s skills shortages.
Representatives from Mercedes-Benz Thailand, GO-JEK Indonesia, FPT Software Viet Nam, Navigos Search and ASEAN Business Advisory Council shared their concerns and priorities related to human resources in a Business and Industry Panel. They gave lively impression of the urgency involved in restructuring to make use of advantages of the new technologies and to respond faster to changes in national, regional and global markets. Companies employ various strategies to deal with limited access to the right skills, e.g. gaming education, dual training, co-operative training, etc. Private sector representatives were united in their assessment that there is a lot to gain from closer public private cooperation to promote favourable framework conditions and tackle education and training need in a fast-changing world.
Dr Konstantinos Pouliakas, expert from European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), shared policy initiatives and cooperation programmes of the European Union in preparation the impacts of digitalisation and the future of work. He introduced sophisticated approached to skills forecasting and emphasized that an adequate response to the skills challenge implies not only the effective development of the transversal and technical skils in high demand by the markets. It also implies and effective governance and collaboration of the different actors involved.
The participants worked intensively in groups to identify key challenges and share lessons learned, initiatives and good practices from the countries and region relating to HRD. Ms Mega Irena, Head of Labour and Civil Service Division, ASEAN Social and Cultural Community Department, the ASEC, summarised the discussion results in 10 salient points.
In her closing remarks, Mrs Ha Thi Minh Duc, Deputy Director-General of Department of International Cooperation, MoLISA, highlighted the dynamic and fruitful collaboration of all participants in the workshop. The 10 major points will be the basis for Viet Nam and ASEAN member countries to continuously develop the Declaration of Human Resource Development for a fast-changing world with the expectation that the Declaration will be endorsed by ASEAN Leaders at the 36th ASEAN Summit.