PH should develop ‘ideal 21st century’ workforce to survive automation: economist

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2017 12:53 PM

MANILA - Competition from other countries such as India and artificial intelligence threaten the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the country. 

And to survive, the Philippines needs to produce a ‘highly trainable’ workforce with advanced critical thinking skills, an economist said Friday. 

Emmanuel Lance Garcia, economist at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), said it is difficult to predict the kind of opportunities that would come up in the future. 

There is, thus, a need for a “large pool of very trainable workers who can adapt themselves" to the changing times. This would require coordination between private institutions and the government, he said. 

“We will be able to produce the ideal worker of the 21st century and this worker will not only be dependent on a very specific skill but rather be trainable and a lot of critical thinking skills and a lot of that ability for them to adapt to however the workers' requirement change,” Garcia told ABS CBN News. 

He said moving to “higher value-added service” jobs would work to the advantage of the labor force when low-skilled jobs are taken over by artificial intelligence.

“Even after all routine processes are automated, even after easier tasks are automated, there will always be a need for human touch, there will always be a need to make value judgement, and creativity that AI cannot produce,” Garcia said.