Over 19 million Filipino workers are feared to be displaced if the government is not quick enough to reskill and upskill them for new technologies in the digital world, according to a global consultancy firm.
Kaushik Das, senior partner and managing partner for Southeast Asia McKinsey & Co., said at the 9th Arangkada Philippines Forum 2020 on Foreign Investment in the Post-Pandemic Philippines as he noted that economies, such as the Philippines, with high dependence on foreign inflows suffer that most from the menace of the COVID-Q9 pandemic.
“Automation will impact all sector and millions in the Philippines economy,” he said urging the government to prepare workers for the future of work.
Das presented data that showed 19.3 million workers could need to be skilled or reskilled for new technologies. In July this year, he said, there were 4.6 million unemployed Filipinos although that was already an improvement from the all-time high 7.3 million unemployed in April or a record low employment rate of almost 18 percent.
“How do you prepare your workers, how do you prepare your people for the future, how do you build capability, how do you train people that are displaced,” he asked.
The ability to upskill and reskill for the digital future would more than outweigh the jobs displacement. He said that technology will also create a lot more jobs in the Philippines. He estimated of somewhere between 10 and 14 million new jobs to be created over the next ten years. But, he said, there are 20 to 50 million jobs that will be created by digitalization globally.
“We expect technology will also create more new jobs in the Philippines, I think we’ve got various estimates of somewhere between 10 and 14 million new jobs over the next 10 years,” he said.
“And you can see pretty significant number of workers in each of these sectors can get affected, or will get affected I’m actually going to make two, but the same time, the good news is you know we think 10s of millions of jobs can be created as a result of this displacement. You just need to get ahead in preparing your workers for getting your estimates,” he added.
To make the new jobs creation happen, the Japanese official cited three factors to consider: speed, collaboration, and resilience.
For speed, he urged for “10 x speed, up the speed of change.” For collaboration, he said, public and private sector collaboration plays a crucial role in this digital transformation. With such partnership, they can achieve more resilience operations.
He noted that the partnership between the government and the private was so evident during their joint ventures to fight against COVID-19. “I have to say the private sector has really teamed in Philippines in particular I think the private sectors role in teaming up with the government. It’s one of the best examples that we’ve seen a private, public partnership,” he said.
According to Das, the accelerated further creates opportunities and implications for the Philippines.
He said the acceleration of Industry 4.0 will create growth of e-commerce and e-services. It will also push for more international flows, allowing greater trade flows and supply chains efficiency. He expects flows for R&D, and services while data and innovation will outstrip flows of goods. There will also be heightened travel flows.
The accelerated future will also mean changes in consumer behavior with growing emphasis on quality, increased focus on food security, health and system resilience. Likewise, there would be environment sustainability goals to fulfill.
All of these factors would push for the creation of new jobs for the future, thus the need to reskill and upskill manpower to meet the work demands of the future.