COVID-19 has accelerated the digital skills gap and created more urgent reasons for all stakeholders (governments, employers, academia) to invest in digital upskilling and reskilling of the workforce, as digital skills are now a prerequisite for all workers.
COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world.
Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. For employers, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a trend in workplace dynamics that was already underway through automation and AI, shifting marketplaces, and changing workplace roles. For governments, COVID intensifies the need for digitization of government services and processes, along with shaping how the digital revolution affects business and society.
APEC Trade Ministers acknowledged this impact of COVID-19 on the digital economy in their statement in May 2020 pledging to “Harness the opportunities of the digital economy and technologies, through utilization of smart working solutions that enable seamless international business and cross border trade.” This includes strengthening APEC’s digital agenda with fresh perspectives and innovative means to navigate these new realities together. Further, Malaysia has prioritized its 2020 APEC host year to contributing to a “more inclusive economic participation through the digital economy”, including addressing a shortage of digitally-skilled workers, which can impact productivity growth and lead to job losses. Women are particularly vulnerable.
To help APEC governments, employers, and academia understand their levels of preparedness for jobs in the digital age and to support efforts to upskill and reskill workers amidst COVID-19, this APEC Digital Resilience Worker Readiness Checklist provides a set of options and resources for APEC member economies to draw from on a voluntary basis.
The Checklist is intended to serve as a resource for all stakeholders in APEC economies with the ability to influence, develop and implement policies and programs to close the digital skills gap – these may include labor, education, and economic officials in APEC member economies; the private sector; academia; and other stakeholders.
The Checklist is formatted in two versions: 1) a collective Checklist for economies to consider 2) individual stakeholder Checklists within an economy.
To read the most recent version of this document, click here.