The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies will establish a common framework to manage the issue of labour mobility in the region, said Trần Việt Thái, Director of the Vietnam APEC Study Centre under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Labour mobility has become an urgent issue for not only APEC but also the global economy, especially in the context of digitalisation and the on-going fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0),” he told the Vietnam News Agency yesterday on the sidelines of the APEC Study Centres Consortium (ASCC) Conference as part of the APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings.
This revolution is affecting a number of occupations and groups of unskilled and low-skilled labourers, he said. The establishment of the APEC Labour Mobility Framework will help member economies identify opportunities and challenges in the context of labour mobility, thus putting forth suitable policies to make the best of the process. Speaking at an APEC workshop on skills education & training and social protection on the same day, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doãn Mậu Diệp said that there will be a strong trend of labour mobility in the APEC region with the development of Industry 4.0.
Many traditional occupations will disappear to be replaced by new ones (in the areas of digitalisation, programming and data protection), he said, adding that there will be many more requirements for skills and qualifications of the workforce for employment.
According to Mary Morola, Coordinator of the APEC Labour & Social Protection Network, Industry 4.0 will require APEC member economies to share opportunities in investment and vocational training to ensure the stability of the regional labour market. Prof Michael Ka Yiu Fung from the CUHK Business School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said labour mobility is important for not only Hong Kong but also other economies as it benefits both senders and receivers. Countries which send guest workers get experience and technology from recipient countries, which in turn have enough labourers to serve their development, he said. Sharing views with the Hong Kong expert, Michael T Kumung, First Assistant Secretary of Macro Planning Division under the Department of National Planning and Monitoring of Papua New Guinea, emphasised the need for APEC economies to enhance cooperation in this field, with a focus on training workers. For Việt Nam in particular, as the country has sent workers to many other countries, it needs to improve the quality of human resources by equipping them with necessary skills.
APEC science prize
On Thursday, Dr Yanwu Zhu from China’s University of Science and Technology was announced the winner of the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE 2017) in an awards ceremony held on Thursday.
Zhu won the prize for his research on new carbon materials.
The prize is an annual award recognising young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publication, and cooperation with scientists from other APEC economies. It aims to strengthen international science and technology networks and improve linkages between research and innovation. It is also designed to boost economic growth, trade and investment opportunities in harmony with sustainable development.
For this year, "New Material Technologies” is the ASPIRE theme. This interdisciplinary theme focuses on how new and advanced materials are used to drive scientific innovation.
The seventh year of the prize drew 17 nominees from APEC member economies, the largest number of participants to date.