Skills development and the future of work amidst the Coronavirus pandemic

The Corona Virus pandemic never ceases to amaze us- aside from disrupting the economies of the world and changing people’s lives forever, it also made significant positive impact to some aspects of society including the skills we need, how businesses operate as well as the future of work.

To cope up with these trying times, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) came up with a three-month webinar series with an aptly titled theme: “21st Century Employers: Digital, Agile and Resilient”. Topics like automation, digital technology and their roles in the transformation of work brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution were discussed. Just as important are the new skills and talent needed to cope up with the new workplace environment were also discussed.

Because of the pandemic, the world suddenly found itself transformed digitally and virtually connected. The world is now witnessing a fundamental transformation in the way how businesses operate and how work is being done. In a positive way, the pandemic forced businesses to adapt to technological advances and policy changes which we now know as work from home arrangements,remote learning, e-commerce, cross-border collaboration and others. People all over the world now live in the new economy (the now and into the future) – powered by technology.

With the pandemic, what now will be the future of work and how do we build from it? ECOP President Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr, pointed out that “the need to build a better future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic is of great concern given its impact, especially among businesses and workers. We have seen a sudden shift to digital platforms and changes on the organization of work as it accelerates the role of artificial intelligence and technology. The future of work poses challenges and opportunities for businesses and employers, however, this can be shaped by social dialogue among government, workers’ and employers’ organizations in order to better navigate a fair transition towards a better normal and to build a better future of work in the Philippines”, thus following the principles of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In addition, the health crisis also made imperative creative solutions in addressing needs for lifelong learning, TVET, apprenticeships, and skills development As such, speakers from the post conference discussed how employers can reskill and upskill their workforce in order to deliver unmatched customer experience in the most agile manner. It emphasized that employers will be more agile if they have viable labor market information, can anticipate changes in the way business is conducted globally, and quickly leverage the impact of technological advances. Finally, to help ensure agility, enterprise-based education and training to address gaps in emerging hard and soft skills will be the most viable training strategy.

As we now live and work in the “new normal”, it is imperative to say that employers and employees alike are harmoniously working side-by-side to safeguard the future of the business and its most valuable asset- its human resources. GTM 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *