[B-SIDE Podcast] Upskilling for the digital job market

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The Filipino workforce is gradually adapting to a work environment that has been changed forever due to the pandemic. Career fairs and upskilling programs have emerged to address accelerated digitalization and automation.

In this B-Side episode, JobStreet Philippines country manager Philip A. Gioca talks to BusinessWorld reporter Brontë H. Lacsamana about how adapting to the ever-evolving employment landscape is a race against time that threatens to leave many behind.

“Early movers and fast movers are becoming the real deal nowadays,” he said.

TAKEAWAYS 

Benefits need to be adjusted to the changing economy.

Because work-from-home and hybrid set-ups have muddled the lines between one’s work space and personal space, stress from a job and accompanying mental health support (or lack thereof) are now extra considerations that jobseekers consider.

“Now, the benefits have changed to internet subsidy, working freely — meaning flexible in terms of working, in terms of shifts, in terms of timing. [Employees] would also like additional healthcare benefits not just to cover themselves but also to cover the family,” he said.

By understanding what’s worth the while and effort of employees, companies will be more able to attract talents due to an employee-centered work environment, he added.

Future-proof the workforce to withstand automation.

JobStreet’s 2021 study with Boston Consulting which decoded global talent found that customer service and administration roles may be obsolete in the next 3 to 5 years.

“You need to prepare for contingencies for your employees because, sooner or later because of digitalization and automation, those roles will diminish,” said Mr. Gioca.

Upskilling, reskilling, and digital learning must be pushed for the job market to keep up with the times, he said.

While industries like information technology (IT), healthcare, and science quickly did this, others are still struggling.

Jobseekers can also easily access platforms like YouTube, Go1, Coursera, and FutureLearn, due to companies and institutions being aware of the upskilling need.

Don’t forget soft skills.

Soft skills like teamwork are in demand due to limited face-to-face interactions, according to Mr. Gioca.

Critical thinking and active learning skills, for instance, help build an environment where teams easily learn new technologies and eventually better connect with others online.

“How do you now monitor just at home looking after your teams? How do you problem-solve? These are the things now that are very important,” Mr. Gioca said.

Recorded remotely in June 2022. Produced by Earl R. Lagundino and Sam L. Marcelo.

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