Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam addresses the session (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Participants at a session of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) expected great changes in the future of jobs in ASEAN but are confident that many development opportunities are within the reach of regional countries.

Addressing the discussion on the future of jobs in ASEAN on September 13, Haoliang Xu, UN Development Programme Director for Asia-Pacific said that ASEAN is a region with large population with high ratio of young people, thus member countries should work harder in equipping citizens with skills and knowledge to adapt to the future of employment.

He asserted that governments and enterprises should adapt to new requirements in managing retirement age, and ensure social security to prevent shocks for labourers.

Labourers themselves should change the mindset about employment opportunities besides pursuing lifelong learning and sharpening their skills, he said, adding that each country should also design policies to support enterprises in order to better tap potential in job generation, while creating a common vision of cooperation for the future of the ASEAN.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said Vietnamese in general and young people in particular are optimistic about the future of the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Seen from the angle of a policy maker, he said the 4IR brings along many new technologies, which create new employment opportunities while old jobs will be lost, particularly in labour-intensive sectors that account for a major part in Vietnam’s economy such as textile-garment, leather-shoes, construction, or simple work in electronic plants.

Vietnam is facing many challenges in human resources training in order to make labourers adapt to new jobs or meet requirements of modern technologies, especially when 38 percent of the Vietnamese work force work in agriculture, he said.  

The question here is to seek solutions for labourers not only to acquire new skills but also create jobs for themselves, he said, adding that farmers can improve their capacity, apply advanced technology and access customers in the region and the world to sell their products and services.

The deputy PM also underscored that life-long learning should be promoted as a way to cope with challenges in job opportunities.

Vietnam is undertaking projects to create public database to help everyone enhance their knowledge through popular communications means such as smart phone and TV, meeting demand of the new era, he said, adding that the country is also reforming its general education system and vocational training.

Deputy PM Dam said that ASEAN members should work towards recognizing each other’s degrees, while sharing education materials and experience.

Ian Lee, Director for Asia-Pacific of Singapore’s Adecco Group, said that parents should change their mindset in children education, focusing more on science and technology and soft skills, thus preparing them for the unpredictable changes in jobs in the future.

Vivian Lau, President of JA Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong-China), said that governments of countries should play a stronger role in defining preeminent jobs in the future, thus encouraging and orienting vocational training in the context of the switch to digital market.-VNA