Unlocking APAC’s digital potential: Changing digital skill needs and policy approaches
Digital technologies are transforming economies in Asia Pacific (APAC). However, capturing the potential of digital technologies will require not an evolution, but a revolution in digital skills training. To support policymakers, educational institutions and business leaders in making this happen, AlphaBeta was commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the study “Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches” to understand digital skill use by workforces in the region today, future digital skill needs, and the policy interventions required to enable this shift. The research focuses on six countries: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
The study finds that, by 2025, the average worker in the region will need to gain 7 new digital skills to keep pace with technological change. Moreover, to achieve more inclusive growth, the number of workers requiring digital skills will need to grow over 5-fold. For this to happen, an estimated 5.7 billion digital skill trainings will be needed in the six countries over the next five years. These skill trainings will need to be provided not just for people in the workforce today, but also today’s students who will enter the workforce in the future, and individuals who are currently unemployed or involuntarily excluded from it.
In particular, 4 types of workers will benefit from digital skills trainings: (1) workers who are already applying digital skills in their jobs today but will need to upgrade their skills; (2) workers who do not apply any digital skills today but are required to learn digital skills to be more productive in their current jobs or access better jobs; (3) today’s students who will need to gain in-demand digital skills to boost employability; and (4) those who are unemployed or involuntarily excluded from the labour force today, who will need to learn new digital skills to access job opportunities.
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