The region played a critical role in the spread of globalization in the 1990s but a new report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) points to a shift in the types of jobs that are now outsourced and offshored towards ones with higher skills, particularly in information and communications technology (ICT).
“The demand for tomorrow’s labor force cannot be met with the knowledge of yesterday,” Selim Jahan, lead author of the report and director of the UNDP’s human development report office, tells SciDev.Net. “There is a scope for retraining younger people.”
The report notes that wider access to technology through South-South cooperation along with pertinent skill sets and adequate finances will help the region move closer in line with sustainable development.
But as of 2014, 2.5 billion people living in the Asia-Pacific region did not have access to the internet. The poorest and most disadvantaged people are usually the ones left out. Youth unemployment in South-East Asia and the Pacific ranges from 0.5 percent in Cambodia to 54 percent in Kiribati.