Asia-Pacific governments look to technology for employment services to support youth
Government officials from across the region exchange and learn about how technology can help young people access decent employment.
Representatives from governments across the Asia-Pacific region are working towards the modernization and transformation of their public employment services through technological solutions to ensure they can better support young people in navigating transitions in a changing world of work.
Over 40 representatives from public employment services in 15 countries in the region, from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam, took part in a five-day ILO workshop, ‘Effective public employment services in Asia and the Pacific with a focus on youth employment and the role of technology’ that was held in Bangkok from 22 to 26 May 2023. The focus of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of participating representatives in improving their countries’ employment services for a human-centred recovery.
The workshop covered key components of public employment services, from the policy, legal and institutional frameworks, to employment services for job seekers and employers, career guidance services, to active labour market policies, partnerships, labour market information and the role of technology.
The transition of many young women and men in the region into the world of work has been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating socioeconomic impact on education, training and employment. Public employment services have a key role to play in supporting the transitions of workers, particularly young women and men, and helping them access productive employment and decent work.
Participants shared experiences and ideas with one another on current employment services and labour market policies in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as how these services can inform services in other countries. This contributed to peer learning, South-South and triangular collaboration among participants and their respective institutions and organizations. Many expressed their enthusiasm for the innovative and effective employment services shared as a pathway to ensure smooth transitions for young people into decent employment.
Naomi Lyn Abellana, Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines, emphasized the importance of using technology to support public employment services. “From this workshop, we realized that there are so many strategies that can be used at the office level, especially for employment guidance counselling. We realize there is a need to enhance our IT systems to give us a holistic approach in matching young people to the labour market,” she said.
Participants also discussed the potential for digital tools and new technologies to increase the capacity of public employment services, and how partnerships can help deliver targeted support to priority groups.
“Public employment services are one of the key institutions in coordinating national labour markets and supporting the implementation of employment policies,” said Michael Mwasikakata, head of ILO’s Labour Market Services for Transitions unit.
“This workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of participants so they can deliver services to their countries and guide the youth entering the labour market to navigate changes and maximise opportunities,” he added.
The training was delivered as part of ILO’s longstanding commitment to youth employment through the ILO Youth Employment Action Plan 2020-2030. It was organized by the ILO in collaboration with the ITCILO, and with co-funding from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China through the project “Promoting the Global Development Initiative with a Focus on South-South Cooperation in Employment in ASEAN”.