21st Century Skills for ASEAN: From Education to Regional Competitiveness


With freer trade and movement of ASEAN professionals, experts warn of a “skills challenge” or the displacement of workers in the Philippines due to the ASEAN integration in 2016. Many Filipinos may not be adequately equipped with the right skills and competencies to meet changing business needs, domestically and internationally.  Hence, experts fear high unemployment and underemployment will continue to persist in the country.

Today, March 17, Asia Society Philippines will host its fourth and final dialogue “21st Century Skills for ASEAN” under its Understanding ASEAN series at the Asian Institute of Management, 4-6PM. The dialogue will focus on higher education and regional competitiveness in the Philippines as it relates to the ASEAN integration. Speakers will discuss the gaps between higher education and businesses’ needs, employment trends in ASEAN and provide insights to 21st century professional skills in-demand.

“Across all industries, shortage of applicants with the right competencies is the biggest recruitment challenge by our domestic employers,” PIDS Research Fellow Ramonette Serafica said in a DevPulsereport published last September 2014 by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). “We should continue to invest in training and education to address the country’s present and future skills challenge.”

The dialogue panelists represent various sectors: Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director, International Labor Organization Philippines Country Office; Dr. Catherine Q. Castañeda Consultant, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Adamson University Manila; Maria Teresa R. Santos, Assistant to the Vice President, University and Global Relations, Ateneo de Manila University; and Maria Carolina V. Dominguez, President and CEO, John Clements Consultants, Inc.

Young professionals, students, members of the academe, human resource managers, private businesses, NGOs, among others, are expected to attend the session.

Understanding ASEAN is a four-part series that aims to explore the opportunities and challenges through a multi-dimensional series of programs. The program series is organized by Asia Society Philippines, with the support of the Asian Institute of Management ASEAN 2015. The series is supported by ANC, Business Mirror, Business World, Bo’s Coffee, DZAR 1026 SMNI Radio,China DailyEagle Broadcasting, Malaya Business Insight, 99.5 Play FM, 9News TV, andWhenInManila.Com. 

For more information, visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/asiasocietyph and hashtag #UnderstandingASEAN. You may also contact Jenny at info@asiasociety.org.ph or 550-2612 for queries.