In the era of Net Zero and Industry 4.0, ASEAN members are facing several key challenges. A significant challenge concerns how countries can provide a job-ready generation with the skills required for sustainable long-term employment. Governments, employers, and skills providers across the ASEAN region strive to come together to equip young people with the lifelong learning skills and capabilities required for the 21st century. In addition to this, there is no doubt that Industry 4.0 presents a significant challenge for skills providers, governments, and employers, however, demand for skilled workers servicing Industries 1.0-3.0 will also still be required.
Collaboration between the UK and ASEAN provides case studies and insights on shaping innovation and driving policy through effective knowledge sharing. Among many innovative and impactful approaches to building skills, several core examples have emerged. Countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore have all implemented green skills programmes, knowing that promoting a green culture and community is essential in meeting the skills challenge. Similarly, promoting the differentiation between compulsory education and lifelong learning plays a key role in building strong foundations for future skills.
There is a need for greater focus on teacher capability, updating standards and embedding the standardisation of skills into legislation. Governments may seek to concentrate on removing the administrative burden placed on providers and businesses, allowing them to focus on in-service training programmes and ensure there is space and bandwidth for professional development. Additionally, teachers could benefit from encouragement to share best practice and learn from peers. ASEAN/SEAMEO are well placed to develop this kind of cooperation. Although Industry 4.0 presents significant challenges, it is also a key part of the solution. Providers and governments may look to Industry 4.0 for potential solutions.