SKILLS upgrades in the work force are not the sole responsibility of employers, with employees also needing to play a part, International Data Corp. (IDC) said.
In an interview with BusinessWorld, IDC Philippines Head of Operations Randy Roberts said workers and management should collaborate in adapting workers’ skills and knowledge to the growing automation and digitization of business.
Mr. Roberts added that there should be a clear focus on which skills are needed by workers and aligned with the company’s needs.
“The private sector certainly has to offer to take some responsibility to retain, upskill, or reskill their own employees based on where their strategies are going or what kind of skills they need,” he said.
According to an IDC study in partnership with Microsoft Corp., employers see not only technological skills as the most essential but also cognitive, social and emotional skills.
Cognitive skills include basic data input and processing, literacy, numeracy, and communication, as well as higher-level skills like creativity, critical thinking and decision making, project management, and quantitative, analytical and statistical skills.
On the other hand, social and emotional skills include communication and negotiating skills; entrepreneurship and initiative taking; interpersonal skills and empathy; and leadership and managing others.
“These are not technical skills but these skills are so high in demand for the future. The private industry needs to take the initiative in educating the people,” Mr. Roberts said.
He said that as much as management needs to address the issue of retaining and upskilling employees, workers also have to take charge in wanting to learn.
“Workers themselves need to take some responsibility… to retrain themselves,” he said, adding that the company views Filipino workers as proactive in wanting to learn new skills.
According to IDC, companies in the Philippines are positive in gearing towards digital transformation but the country itself has yet to reach “digital determination” or offer innovative solutions, services, and products.
IDC recommends training in new skills in order that innovation developed by companies are properly executed. — Gillian M. Cortez