APRU updates APEC officials on key insights relating to the Future of Work
May 20, 2019

APRU Director for Policy & Programs, Christina Schönleber, presented findings and policy recommendations of APRU’s Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century report at the Second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) held in Vina Del Mare, Chile, in May.

The wide range of key insights presented by Schönleber includes the key point that exponential growth of standardization and adoption of technological advances will continue worldwide.

This translates into the gradual automation of repetitive physical and cognitive jobs on the one hand and the creation of new jobs with higher pay on the other.

Illustrating that APRU succeeds in its core objective of widely disseminating a data-driven studies with key focus on APEC region, there has been great interest from delegates to download the report findings and share these with political decision-makers.

“In the face of a skill shift in the labor market leading to income disparity between workers with high and low skill levels, it is imperative to prepare a new generation that is adaptive to technology changes by incorporating STEM/STEAM education across primary and secondary school curriculums,” Schönleber said.

“An adequate supply of talent in technology, engineering and science can be facilitated by attracting more female students with a lifelong interest in STEM as well as by encouraging interdisciplinary knowledge studies across science, engineering, business, and social science,” she added.

SOM2 took place alongside the 44th APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) meeting.

Key discussions points following Schönleber’s presentations were how findings forming the project can feed into future focus areas of APEC working groups.

SOM2 panel discussions also focused on the identification of the best ways to develop the skills required of workers by the digital economy, as well as on the promotion of continuous lifelong learning to ensure that APEC economies’ workforce can keep up with rapidly changing technologies and technical skills.

APRU’s Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century report is based on a joint project with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology connecting ten scholars from leading universities across the APRU network to examine the changes presented by rapid digitalization in our society.