|SME AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: CHALLENGES, ENABLERS, AND POLICY||WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION REFORMS, DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE, AND THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION||DECENTRALIZATION, FEDERALISM, GOVERNANCE, AND DEVELOPMENT|
Workforce Development, Education Reforms, Demographic Change, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The fourth industrial revolution (4IR), characterized by rapid digitalization, automation, and technological change at a pace never seen before, offers both opportunities and threats to the country’s economy. On one hand, automation can enhance production efficiency and quality, making our products more attractive and our firms more competitive in the global market. However, it can also threaten jobs because some tasks that previously can only be done by humans can now be performed by machines. While the cost of labor in the Philippine is still low compared to the cost of high-technology capital, it is still important to be prepared.
Complicating the scenario for the Philippines is demographic change. The country is about to hit its demographic sweet spot wherein the ratio of working age population to the dependent population will be at its highest. This offers opportunity for growth as more people are contributing to the economy. However, this opportunity can turn into a threat if the jobs of workers are threatened. In response to the 4IR, the Center has conducted studies to determine the characteristics of workers who are most at-risk. Knowing who can potentially be most affected will make it easier to design policy responses, including how to target them to specific people.
Adapting to the 4IR requires a collective effort from all stakeholders in society. Two essential responses are education reforms and social protection. The former is needed to ensure that students are equipped with the skills and competencies needed to be competitive in the future job market. The latter is required so that those whose jobs are threatened can be re-skilled and to protect them from adverse economic shocks such as unemployment. The Center contributes to this endeavor by looking at the appropriate education reforms and social protection; and by studying the possible effect of demographic change on how to respond to the 4IR.