With a young and dynamic population, rapid economic integration and urbanisation, the demand for a skilled and digital-ready workforce is high in the ASEAN region.
Future Ready ASEAN is an online platform developed in partnership between the ASEAN Foundation, Empire Code and Microsoft, as part of the ASEAN Digital Innovation program.
The Future Ready ASEAN platform itself was launched on May 2019, serving as a nerve centre for online training on digital skills for ASEAN youth. The platform is also useful for trainers to curate learning journeys on computer science and digital skills, and for students for self-learning. Four learning journeys are offered via the platform:
- Digital Citizen: to boost digital presence by learning how to engage in professional networks and to use web development tools
- Dream Team Player: to make successful team by gaining productivity, collaboration and project management skills
- Data Wizard: to get artificial intelligence ready by understanding, visualising and making sense of big data sets
- Social Innovator: to tackle big societal challenges by learning to create technological products and applications
The platform is available in English, Burmese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.
As one of the key interventions of the programme, the first Future Ready ASEAN Competition was organised in 2019 and held virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19. This purpose of the competition is to provide an avenue for youth who have taken digital skills training on the Future Ready ASEAN platform to apply what they have learned.
The programme has been recognised by the Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED) during the 14th SOM-ED held in Bangkok, Thailand, as one of the key activities that supports the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020.
Until December 2019, the programme has trained 583 educators and non-profit trainers and benefited 25,854 youths from 10 ASEAN countries, with more than 50% of them being young girls.
“According to LinkedIn, APAC will face a labour shortage of 12.3 million workers, rising to 47 million in the following decade. That represents an annual opportunity cost of US$4.2 trillion. Our vision at the Philanthropies is to try to bridge this gap by providing people with the opportunity to get the skills that enable them to pursue a career in technology and to secure employment in the fast-changing digital economy."
Dr. Daiana Beitler, Regional Business Lead, Philanthropies, Microsoft Asia.