Reskilling and Upskilling in ASEAN through a gender lens
Policies, lessons learnt and recommendations for future actions
RECOTVET (2023) - Countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region face fundamental changes impacting the workforce: growing investment, increased inequality, technological change (automation and digitalisation), ageing population, migration flux, climate change and the recent Covid-19 pandemic. ASEAN envisions an ‘ASEAN workforce that is future ready and equipped with competencies that enable them to actively and effectively contribute to the sustainable development, competitiveness and resilience of ASEAN’(1). This requires what was traditionally called ‘training’ of adults in the TVET system, and now seems to get differentiated under a new header of ‘upskilling and reskilling’.
This mapping study reviews corresponding policies and strategies at the regional and country level, and analyses case studies of upskilling and reskilling initiatives, against a conceptual framework regarding skills development and skills anticipation approaches. Key findings are:
Many reports at ASEAN and worldwide level confirm the urgency to either ‘upskill’ (improve existing skills) or ‘reskill’ (learn new skills for new employment or responsibilities) a significant portion of the workforce impacted by social, environmental, technological and economical disruptions.
Upskilling and reskilling interventions are not yet based on a shared set of criteria and joint understanding of most suitable modalities.
The selected five ASEAN countries either have specific upskilling/ reskilling policies, programmes and processes in place (Indonesia, Philippines, Viet Nam), or integrate upskilling/reskilling policies in a National TVET Strategy / Development Plan (Cambodia), or – without a specific upskilling/reskilling policy – include interventions in human resources development programmes and socio-economic plans (Thailand).