Gov’t agencies brace for 4th Industrial Revolution
National government agencies have been working on convergence to prepare the labor market of the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
The 4IR, a techno-industrial world run by digital system rather than by hands of man, has already started at present, Bello said in his speech read by officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay at the Manufacturing Summit 2019 on Tuesday.
The 4IR is often associated with expected decrease of employment as workers allegedly will be replaced by technology or digital systems.
“Dawning of 4IR is a call for action as it will greatly benefit societies, but first societies adapt to it or get left behind. The issue of preparing is a priority agenda of the economic cluster of this administration. The impact of this revolution is great that labor department is just a part of many agencies working together to prepare for it,” he said.
The government, he said, has the inclusive innovation industrial strategy framework, a whole-of-government approach spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry.
“The framework is aimed at creating and strengthening globally innovative industries. DOLE plays a key role in this program as well as the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) because adaptation starts in schooling and training in preparing our children for the technologically transformed world,” he added.
Bello said DepEd, through its K-12 program and CHED, has upgraded its curricula to help transition the youth sector, which is the manpower of the country in the future.
DOLE, with other government agencies, is implementing programs that capacitate workers with 21st century skills.
Under employment bridging programs are Government Internship Program, the Special Program for Employment of Students, and the Jobstart Philippines.
“These programs compliment education with training. These are not just preparatory tools but also skill’s boosters that help students and workers improve their employability,” Bello said.
He added the collective approach on education and training aligned the Philippine Qualifications Framework with global standards.
“We worked for greater convergence in bringing every worker from obsolete modes of production and working to hone workers towards greater skills for tomorrow, which include critical thinking, technological proficiency, and the so called soft-skills,” Bello said.
DOLE, he said, has also devised labor market signals that identify emerging industries and job labor market information report, and the Philippine Talent Map Initiative that help the youth with their career choices.
“We continue to sustain and improve the rescaling and upscaling programs to further prepare the workers for the future. Filipinos have always shown the ability to adapt to a changed and changing work,” Bello added.
Dr. Sameer Khatiwada, a Social Sector Specialist in the Southeast Asia Human and Social Development Division of the Asian Development Bank, said 4IR will require high-skilled workers hence, the need to invest on education.
“I am optimistic not all jobs will disappear because new technologies often automate only some tasks of a job,” Khatiwada said in his speech during the same event. (PNA)