Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Asian Development Bank is encouraging Asia Pacific nations to expand the formation of foundational skills among students and young workers to include soft skills and digital literacy to capacitate them for jobs of the future.
ADB North America office representative Bart Edes said in a recent entry on the ADB blog titled “The future of work means learning to relearn” that technological advancements are happening at a rapid pace in Asia that adapting to technological change will largely determine whether countries can prepare their workforce.
He noted that many labor-intensive jobs especially in manufacturing may no longer be relevant in the future as new jobs would be created alongside advancements in technology. “For example, foresighted countries are trying to put their economies on a more environmentally sustainable path. This can usher in a whole range of jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency and recycling,” he said.
Education systems should continually adapt and retrain workers because the future of work requires lifelong and agile learning. And assuming that a worker’s continuous education and training would be conducted alongside their full time work, educational content must be provided in a format that is short, convenient and mobile. Shorter online education and training programs are emerging in response to this growing demand.
Edes said that there is a need for the expansion of foundational skills which used to only include reading writing and numeracy, to include soft skills and digital literacy. Digital literacy is becoming indispensable for everyday functions as digital finance and e-government. This covers the ability to use digital devices and platforms, and how to use the appropriately.
As demonstrated by the recent shift K to 12, our educational system is indeed changing. It is now up to our education officials including those in charge of technical and vocational education and training, as well as labor officials, to keep the curriculum and continuous training programs relevant so Filipino workers can remain competitive and productive as the times and demands of employers and industries also evolve.*