Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – “65% of our children entering school today will hold jobs that don’t currently exist,” said APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC PH) member Guillermo Luz, following a dialogue with APEC Philippines officials at the sidelines of APEC Summit.

Mr. Luz cited the RMIT University research project that was reported in this year’s meeting of APEC business leaders which looked at the impact of digitization on existing and future jobs. The study further noted that one-third of present skill sets will be replaced by 2020, and 375 million workers will have new occupations by 2030.

Digital innovation is part of the council’s four-point agenda which it pushed in APEC meetings in Port Moresby. “Harnessing digital innovation is the key to the future economy, and for the Philippines this means leveraging on our human capital through education and training,” said Mr. Luz.

According to ABAC PH, current and future workforce must be digitally literate and proficient. This is critical for industries like IT-BPM to remain competitive and help the sector gear up for higher value-adding services such as knowledge process outsourcing and big data analytics.

The advisory group also noted that students and workers must know how to work with current and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to be able to take full advantage of the digital economy.

ABAC PH added how innovations in education and training such as microcourses and virtual programs can provide the needed skills for tomorrow. According to the council, these give students flexibility to learn and acquire competencies in trending and upcoming skill areas.

Mr. Luz emphasized how government and business collaboration is crucial in developing a future-ready workforce. “We already have a large, young and educated population. We must build on this by having long-term investments in our educational system and vocational training programs. This will require the government to work closely with the industry and the academe to design curriculum and handle implementation and placement services,” he concluded.♦

Date of Release: 3 December 2018