The world has a skills gap crisis.
According to the Summer 2022 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, 71 percent of U.S. CEOs believe the skills and labor shortage will be 2022’s biggest business disrupter, and the digital skills gap will cost businesses trillions of dollars by the end of the decade. Worldwide, the large majority of companies—87 percent—are aware that they either already have a skills gap or will have one within a few years, according to McKinsey & Company.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its Southeast Asia: Rising from the Pandemic report released in March this year, said the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected young people in the Philippines. Exacerbating the problem are companies that are rapidly adopting digital technology in their business models, further raising demand for higher value-added skills, the ADB reported.
While thousands of Filipinos in many sectors have lost their jobs, employment in information and communications technology along with professional and business services has been more resilient. “This divergence will increase skills mismatches as workers do not transition easily between sectors given differences in required skills,” the ADB further said. “These developments are likely to increase the mismatch between new skills demanded by employers and those possessed by displaced workers.”
Aaron Smith, founder and CEO of Upskill Talent—a Chesapeake, Virginia, U.S.-based company specializing in improving the hiring process of companies unable to recruit employees who lack experience—believes corporate skills gap issues can be solved with specialized, professional intervention.
And Smith asserts he can implement this intervention in the Philippines.
“We’ve unlocked the secrets of how companies can work smarter by tapping new information and data,” said Smith, a workforce development and STEM integration expert.
“Thankfully, emerging technology can accelerate this process,” said Smith. “Upskill Talent has created a digital dashboard that will enable corporate users to access occupations from across the world where it can break down soft, hard, and technical skills. We want to pilot our dashboard in the Philippines because it’s a robust, trade-oriented economy in a strategic business location, with developing infrastructure, a competitive workforce, growing domestic and export markets. And the business opportunities are unlimited because it’s within the AFTA [ASEAN Free Trade Area].”
Smith announced that “Illuminate” would be the dashboard’s name, with https://illuminate.upskilltalent.com as its landing page. The dashboard is a partnership and joint startup project with Strategic Integrated Solutions Industrial Design Services (SISIDS) from the Philippines. The project will soon be launched in the Philippines under the program of Saint Louis University’s Covergent Resilience Technology Business Incubator (ConRes TBI) in Baguio City.
Upskill Talent’s new dashboard will help corporate users “examine skill adjacency and context” to determine future capabilities of people, explained the CEO. “The dashboard’s design has the Filipino people already in mind,” said Smith. “It will be affordable for all small and medium-scale enterprises, regardless of industry. We have SaaS monthly and annual options, and also a pay-by-search option that will work regardless of budget.”
The skills gap remains a real and pressing issue for businesses worldwide—and more so in the Philippines. With half of the workforce expected to need re-skilling by 2025, according to McKinsey, it’s clear that companies need to do more to upskill their employees. Even more alarming, the Boston Consulting Group reports that 54 percent of workers in the Philippines see automation as a threat to their job,” said Smith. “Cobbled with the notion that the Digital Skills Gap Index (DSGI) ranked the Philippines as 51st under the pillars of digital strength, resilience, and responsiveness, upskilling stays a challenge, especially in today’s climate of economic uncertainty.
“Solving the skills gap crisis is a complex undertaking. Business owners and HR professionals need to take advantage of technology to upskill employees and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow,” said the STEM integration expert. “We know our digital dashboard will be a game-changer for companies that need to dive deeper into understanding the essentials of job development for their people.”