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News » Reskill, upskill employees to avoid job shedding, trade chief says

Reskill, upskill employees to avoid job shedding, trade chief says

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfred Pascual said business owners and executives should continue reskilling and upskilling their employees to avoid job shedding as businesses adopt technology and embrace automation.

“We also would like to persuade and support companies to upskill their workforce so that workers can perform newer and higher-order roles that complement the work of machines,” he said.

He noted that many jobs will be lost due to automation, but new and high-quality jobs will emerge by adopting technologies that will increase productivity. However, this would require boosting investments in skills development.

“Current systems of learning and signaling job-fit are not enough to provide the agility that lifelong learners will require. We, therefore, need to shift to a skills-based approach that can provide more efficient mechanism,” Pascual said.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon said in some countries, the agriculture sector will be losing a lot of jobs in 10 years due to automation.

“That automation improved the productivity. We know that we are concerned with the farmers, but they also have to realize that if they are not productive, if they are not efficient, the prices of our commodities are much expensive,” Barcelon said.

Barcelon explained that while the private sector is upskilling and reskilling their workforce, the government should look into the education system, which also needs updating and more investments to prepare Filipinos for emerging jobs in the future.

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