First Expert Meeting on Future Skills Needs and Anticipation in Selected Sectors and industries in Asia-Pacific

First Expert Meeting on Future Skills Needs and Anticipation in Selected Sectors and industries in Asia-Pacific

When: 4-5 December 2017

Where: Bangkok, Thailand

Who: Government officials, researchers, UN agencies, INGOs, NGOs and civil society organizations

Summary: UNESCO, in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Education’s Office of Vocational Education Commission, hosted the 1st Expert Meeting on Future Skills Needs and Anticipation in Selected Sectors and Industries in the Asia and Pacific Region.  

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.4, which says, “By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship” recognizes the importance of skills development in ensuring that equity and inclusion is a key component of lifelong learning for all. 

Enhancing the quality of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its relevance to the changing needs of the world of work was one of the recommended actions set out in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration: Quality Education and Skills Development for a Sustainable Future, outcome statement of the Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training held in 2015. The Declaration called on Member States in the Asia-Pacific region to “transform and expand TVET and pay increased attention to strengthening the links between its outcomes and changing labour market needs, particularly through labour market studies” and to “invest in establishing foresight and feedback mechanisms such as tracer studies and employer surveys to inform TVET reforms and to anticipate skill needs that are to be reflected in TVET qualifications and programmes for different users.”

The Asia-Pacific region is characterized by great diversity in terms of demographic trends, socio-economic development and technological advancements. Common challenges related to technological change and the adoption of new technologies are, however, confronting all countries at various degrees across the region. New technologies are affecting jobs and employment landscape by reducing the need for people in many existing jobs while generating new job opportunities in emerging innovative activities. These changes may widen existing income inequalities potentially leading to social and economic upheaval on various scales. To respond to changing skill needs, education and training providers need to equip learners with skills that are responsive to labour market demands and transferable to different employment settings. Up-to-date information on current and future skills demands is needed to inform policy measures to ensure a better balance between skills of the workforce and the needs of employers to address the skill shortages and imbalances and fully capitalize on the new technologies.

In this context, UNESCO Bangkok, with support from the government of Malaysia, launched a multi-country study project to review how different countries assess existing and needed skills to inform policy interventions and assess and anticipate future skills needs for specific sectors and industries in selected Asia-Pacific countries.  During the first expert meeting, three draft country cases from India, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan were shared and preliminary position papers by Lao PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam were presented.  The presented cases and position papers during the meeting are currently being reviewed by UNESCO Bangkok and a resource person for improvement.  Updated country cases and position papers will be shared at the second expert meeting, which is scheduled for May 2018, and used to develop policy recommendations.     

This meeting was supported by the government of Malaysia.


Meeting Documents

Concept Note



Session 1: Background and Regional Overview

Session 2: Perspectives on Skills Needs and Anticipation

ILO's Skills Needs and Anticipation Framework and its Perspectives on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in Asia-Pacific by Ms. Akiko Sakamoto, Senior Skills and Employability Specialist, International Labour Organization

Session 3: Position Paper by National Researchers

  • India by Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
  • Indonesia by Dr. Parapat Gultom, Lecturer, University of North Sumatra
  • Kyrgyzstan by Dr. Urmat Tynaliev, Professor, International Alatoo Universtiy, Kazakh-British Technical University

Session 4: Position Paper by Member States

  • Viet Nam by Ms. Nguyễn Hoàng Nguyên, Deputy Director, Center Information, Strategic Analysis and Forecast Institute of labor Science & Social Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs
  • Mongolia by Ms. Itgelmaa Toivgoo, Officer for TVET’s policy planning, the Foreign Cooperation Division Investment Division, Department of Policy Planning, Ministry of Labor and Social protection
  • Sri Lanka by Mr. S.A.W.K. Jayasekara, Assistant Director (Planning), Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training
  • Iran: New Skills Demands for Iran’s Energy Efficient Buildings (Construction Sector) by Mr. Amir Radfar, Consultant, Dr Koerner Consult Co, Heat International Company
  • Lao PDR by Mr. Vannalek Leuang, Deputy Director General of Technical and Vocational Education Department, Ministry of Education and Sports Lao PDR
  • Philippines by Ms. Angelina M. Carreon, Director and Mr. Mariflor R. Liwanag, Director, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • Thailand by Dr. Siripan Choomnoom, Senior Advisor, and Dr. Rochana Jantrakool, Head of Strategy and Policy Research Division, OVEC, MoE Thailand

Session 5: Country Presentation


Photo by Hyunjeong Lee, Programme Officer – Non-Formal Education/TVET.