Technology-Related Skills Critical to Future-Ready Workforce

9:56:01 AM | 3/18/2021

“As companies fast-track technology development, it’s important to note that employees play a critical role at every stage. While an upgrade or investment in technology can be immediate, equipping the people with the right skills to meet the needs of the future, helping them thrive in the changing conditions of the digital world, requires time and constant effort,” said Ms. Dinh Thi Quynh Van, PwC Vietnam General Director, with respect to Vietnam Digital Readiness report launched by PwC based on its recent public survey among Vietnamese people around technology, jobs and skills, against the backdrop of COVID-19.

The findings from this inaugural report highlight that changes are underway, and fast. With technology, current jobs will not look the same for 83% of surveyed Vietnamese in three to five years, and for 90% of respondents in the medium term (six to ten years).

The perception of such changes is also layered with optimism, where 90% of Vietnamese respondents believe that technological developments will improve their job prospects in the future. This level is much higher than the global sentiment of 60% recorded in PwC’s Global Upskilling Hopes and Fears report, released in 2019.

Mr. Grant Dennis, PwC Vietnam Chairman, said, “Our survey findings reflect the accelerated presence and influence of technology in the workplace and the pace of change that is to come in Vietnam. Going forward, enabling workers and firms to adapt in the new technological environment and empowering them to achieve outcomes will be key to any organization’s success.”

The significant impact of technology on jobs, however, comes with a sense of uncertainty. We noted that 45% of Vietnamese respondents expressed concerns about job security due to automation. This is not surprising, as the uses of digital technologies are increasingly becoming key solutions across industries. This progress is shaping a future where digital skills are expected to be among the top ten job competencies in the next five years, according to a report by the World Economic Forum in October 2020.

Commenting on this, Ms. Dinh Thi Quynh Van, PwC Vietnam General Director, said “As companies fast-track technology development, it’s important to note that employees play a critical role at every stage. While an upgrade or investment in technology can be immediate, equipping the people with the right skills to meet the needs of the future, helping them thrive in the changing conditions of the digital world requires time and constant effort.”

Enabling a future-ready workforce

The need for adapting to new skills resonates with the majority of the survey respondents. The report reveals a majority (93%) are already making efforts to reskill and upskill. Technology-related skills are top of mind, with 43% of respondents wanting to become better at learning and adapting to different technologies, and 34% looking to become proficient in a specific technology.

It is encouraging to note that 88% of Vietnamese surveyed said that to different extents, they are provided with opportunities to improve their digital skills at work. This shows that businesses are doing their part to meet the upskilling needs of their workforce. However, the skills mismatch and opportunity gaps are real and widening in an increasingly technology-enabled economy, both globally and locally. According to PwC’s Global CEO survey 2021, 79% of CEOs in the Asia Pacific region expressed concerns about the availability of key skills, compared to 72% globally.

In this regard, while over half of respondents feel the responsibility for upskilling is on themselves, we believe both the government and businesses have important roles in providing people access to inclusive upskilling programs.  

“COVID-19 has intensified the stark mismatch of people with the right skills for available jobs. The need to upskill and reskill people so they can participate in the economy is more critical than ever. Business leaders, governments and educational institutions need to work together to upskill our people to meet the workforce needs of the future and drive inclusive, sustainable social and economic growth for Vietnam,” added Ms. Van.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum