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Skills Gap Grows: Old Jobs Will Disappear in New Digital Economy

Skills Gap Grows: Old Jobs Will Disappear in New Digital Economy
Technology will play a pivotal role in helping Asia Pacific unlock economic growth and productivity. But while digitization is creating new opportunities for countries, it’s creating new challenges – education and skills is one of the most pressing. Country competitiveness will increasingly be determined by the capabilities of its workforce.
Skills Gap Grows: Old Jobs Will Disappear in New Digital Economy READ FULL ARTICLE

Skills Gap Grows: Old Jobs Will Disappear in New Digital Economy

Irving Tan

President, Cisco Asia Pacific and Japan

27 Apr 2017
  • Press Release

  • 6485

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  • Technology, Innovation, People and Culture, Thought Leadership, Digitization

Technology will play a pivotal role in helping Asia Pacific unlock economic growth and productivity. But while digitization is creating new opportunities for countries, it’s creating new challenges – education and skills is one of the most pressing. Country competitiveness will increasingly be determined by the capabilities of its workforce.

In the digital world traditional jobs as we know them will disappear, replaced by new jobs that require different skills for the digital economy, and people will be displaced. We are seeing these shifts today: Cyber Security is a topical example, with demand for skilled workers in this area currently out-stripping supply.

I recently spoke at the Asia Pacific and Japan Career and Technical Education Summit in Singapore which Cisco hosted in partnership with Singtel Optus. It brought together business leaders and executive  decision makers from educational institutions to discuss how we can innovate career and technical  (vocational) education. The aim is to help close the critical skills gap brought about by the rapidly changing landscape of the workforce in the digital age.

There are three broad areas to address:

  • One: We must make technical education a more attractive learning pathway and shift the perception that university is the best way forward. We need to reach people early in career (Gen Y), and those who will leave school to enter higher education in the coming years (Gen Z). We need to up-skill the current workforce and ensure experienced, mature-age people are equipped for new or evolving roles, and similarly, re-skill people who are re-entering the workforce after a period out. Lifelong learning will be an imperative.
     
  • Two: Educational institutions and stakeholder organizations that deliver vocational/technical education must focus on their own digital evolution. As an industry, Education is ranked 6th fastest to disruption (IMD Digital Vortex study). Organizations have a huge opportunity to leverage digital capabilities to improve the learning experience, enable education to be delivered in new ways, and make learning more accessible, engaging and effective to more people of all ages.
     
  • Three: Education and Industry must collaborate closely for one and other’s mutual benefit and survival. Students must be productive as soon as they become part of the workforce, and workers must be able to access training when they need new skills. Industry will play a key role in helping to define new education delivery models that support this.

Governments across Asia Pacific are investing in skills and training. But needle-moving success will only be achieved  through partnership – across government, educational institutions, and private sector companies. The countries that get it right will bolster economic strength and prosperity for future decades.

As a company, Cisco views career and technical education as a key corporate responsibility, as well as a powerful economic building block. It’s for the benefit for our own future workforce and ecosystem; for greater diversity and depth in the ICT sector as a whole; and for the positive impact on wider society. We collaborate closely and broadly with public and private organizations to help drive it forward.

Skill India is a government initiative to train millions of students to support the country’s booming economy. Cisco is supporting it and has committed to train 250,000 with career-ready ICT skills by 2020. We’ve also made national skills commitments in Australia (AUSTEM 2020) and Thailand (as part of Digital Thailand) that will help support the demands of the digital economy by training thousands of people.

We work with leading educational institutions across the region to help them digitize their campuses and the learning experience, and evolve the delivery of education. In Australia, our joint innovation with South West TAFE on Smart Classrooms is based on technology as means to improve accessibility, engagement and learning outcomes for students living in both urban and regional locations.

In Singapore, our on-going work with Temasek Polytechnic includes the design of a new education delivery model. We see an opportunity to produce the skills and workforce required to help drive Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives and position Singapore as a ‘tech skills expert hub’ to support the regional digital eco-system, particularly ASEAN. Future skills such as Software Defined Networking, Cyber Security, and Internet of Things will take center stage.

Our longest-running and largest effort around career and technical education continues to be our Cisco Networking Academy. We have 9500 academies in 170 countries worldwide (980 academies in Asia Pacific and Japan). Since it was established in 1997, over 6 million students have graduated, armed with IT and business skills, equipped to thrive in the digital economy.

As a leading technology company in Asia Pacific and Japan, it is critical for Cisco to continue to invest and partner to drive innovation in technical education. We can certainly do more; and we need to do more. After all, we will all only be as successful as the societies we live in.
 

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1 Comments
Faith Legendre 02 May 2017

That's why nano degrees need to be built as well. Also, initiatives like what the US had with the School-to-Work program which I worked on back in the early 90's where companies helped grammar and high schools build curriculum, came in to speak to the students, and provided real world work projects.