5 M Pinoys need reskilling — report

Published November 21, 2021, 10:05 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

As much as 5 million Filipino workers need to be reskilled or re-trained between now and 2030 as majority of jobs will be lost to automation, according to a report.

Jon Canto, associate partner at McKinsey &Company, said at the 13th International Innovation Summit that based on their survey last year, 70 percent of executives said that automation was accelerated while 85 percent said that employees are adopting digital technology.

Canto also cited data from their research showing that 50 percent of all work can be automated. In terms of occupation, he said, majority or 60 percent of activities have at least a third that can be automated although 5 percent only of all occupations in all sectors can be fully automated.

“So, as I said 70 percent of jobs are lost to automation,” he said noting that a lot of these jobs are in the customer service or customer facing industries.

“What this means is a very broad impact across our workforces,” he added.

In their estimate, Canto said 375 million almost 400 million workers between now and 2030 will need to be reskilled and repurposed. “That’s a significant number,” he said pointing to impact on 15 percent to 17 percent of the global workforce.

If applied to the Philippine setting without adjusting for the particular roles or the potential delay and impact of automation in the country, Canto said the impact of rapid automation still means 4 to 5 million Filipinos who need reskilling and retraining.

“Again, quite a big number, but this doesn’t mean that it is lost. This is actually an opportunity. And when we see and we look at this, there can be this scenario where there’s a net positive amount of jobs,” he said.

Jobs that are growing in the automation era comes in almost all sectors, particular healthcare. He said that jobs in healthcare are not just growing because of the pandemic but because populations are aging and consumer capabilities to pay are also increasing even in India and southeast Asia countries.

But there is also a lot that still needs to be done. He cited opportunities in STEM courses or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Another big growth driver of jobs is transportation because of developments in electric vehicles, the future of mobility. “There’s a lot more jobs there than we originally thought,” he said.