REPRESENTATIVES of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) adopted the Port Moresby Joint Statement on the 2015 High Level Policy Dialogue on Human Capacity Building at the conclusion on Thursday of their two-day meeting held in Papua New Guinea.
The policy dialogue, jointly hosted by the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, discussed strategies and actions to address the challenges brought about by the globalization of economies, including measures to develop the 21st century workforce, align education and training to the needs of industry, and develop the skills of small and medium enterprise s (SMEs) to increase productivity and link them to the global value chain.
The event drew about 100 participants composed of APEC high-level representatives responsible for human resource development and trade and industry, business leaders from APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and other representatives from business and academia.
Also present were the representatives of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Asia Society as plenary speakers.
With the theme: “Investing in Human Capital, Building Inclusive Economies”, the two-day high-level dialogue consisted of plenary presentations by a select group of experts that revolve around topics of primary concern among APEC economies.
Developing the 21st century workforce as key to inclusive and sustainable growth ushered in the discussions for the first day. Lead-off speaker s delivered paper presentations on the aspect of skills for green jobs, relevance of 21st century skills to new and emerging global economy, and implications of the changing nature of work for inclusive growth.
The second policy issue discussed concerns aligning education and training to industry needs in the 21st century in order to facilitate not only trade and investment but also employment.
A Qualifications Referencing Framework was discussed to provide a common reference point that will facilitate mutual recognition of jobs and skills/qualifications and support labor mobility within the APEC region.
The vital role played by the private sector in identifying, assessing and certifying the skills and competencies in demand for the local and regional labor markets was highlighted.
Enhancing the skills of SME (small and medium enterprises) workers as critical to competitiveness and linking to global value chain was tackled in the third plenary session. In order to enable the SMEs to fully benefit from the opportunities provided by international trade, primacy must be given to the human capacity building needs of SME workers.
The economy presentations on key policy initiatives on the three identified thematic areas contributed greatly to the plenary discussions.
Sharing of APEC economy experiences and best practices on skills development, industry-academe-government collaboration and improving the productivity of SMEs further enriched the learning of the participants.
Monitoring the progress of identified initiatives would be vital in the achievement and realization of the desired outcomes.