Future of work: Asia unprepared for disruption

by Nurhuda Syed16 Nov 2018

As digital transformation takes place, more than half of Southeast Asian countries are expecting a greater loss of jobs than gains by 2030, according to a new report by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.

Unsurprisingly, occupations with lower skills requirement are likely to be impacted the most, including clerical support workers, plant and machine operators, as well as personal services and sales roles. With a reduction in jobs, around half expect there will be too many unemployed workers in these professions.

Reflecting the rise of new technologies and Asia Pacific’s ageing population, the greatest occupational shortages are expected to be in:

  • Science and engineering professionals (59.2%)
  • Elderly care workers (56.3%)
  • Information and communications tech professionals (55.3%)

However, majority of those surveyed believe their countries are unprepared to deal with the training, upskilling and possible disruption.

Additionally, respondents cited that some of the hardest employee skillsets to find will be critical thinking (75%), complex problem solving (71.8%) and creativity (61%).

“The report advises that how well economies adjust to technological change will depend on its capacity to match the skills on offer by all available workers, with the skills required,” said Eduardo Pedrosa, secretary general at the PECC.

“Technological advancement is also expected to create significant occupational and structural change, increasing the quality of workforces while decreasing the quantity required.”

 

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