As part of the APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings, the workshop aims to discuss opportunities and challenges in skills education & training and social protection in the context of digitalisation and rapid technological development as well as seek solutions to these challenges.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) Doan Mau Diep said that the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is a global trend, driven by science-technology development.
“The foundation of this revolution is the digital technology and the synthesis of intelligent technologies in order to optimise the process and mode of production,” he stated.
According to Diep, Industry 4.0 has been creating breakthroughs with tremendous impacts on socio-economic development of each country, region and the entire world. In that context, vocational education and training and social protection are issues that attract the attention of all economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
With the booming of Industry 4.0, there will be strong labour mobility. Many traditional occupations will disappear to be replaced by many new ones (in the areas of digitalisation, programming and data protection), he said.
There will be many more requirements for skills and qualifications of the workforce for employment, posing great challenges to the labour market, he said, adding that not only low skill workers but also middle skill ones will be affected if they are not self-equipped with new technology and innovation skills.
According to Mary Morola, Coordinator of the APEC Labour & Social Protection Network, Industrial 4.0 requires APEC member economies to share opportunities in investment and vocational training to ensure the stability of the regional labour market.
Participants to the workshop focused on discussing measures to promote social protection in region in order to ensure all social protection schemes are resilient to demographic changes, social and economic shocks, and natural disasters on the one hand and benefits of social protection do not create work disincentives on the other hand.
The information shared at the workshop will be an important foundation for the APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age to put forth priority actions for the Asia-Pacific region to help member economies successfully accomplish the goal of “no one is left behind”, Diep said.