“Keep your eyes and ears open to trends. Discover your skills and work on them. Create your own brand. Act on opportunities that will elevate your capacity to the next level. The future is beyond science and technology and increasingly more about creativity and leadership,” said Hyundai Asia
Resources, Inc. (HARI) President and CEO Maria Fe Perez-Agudo in her address to the youth of Asia Pacific at the 6th Asian Youth Forum (AYF6), an annual gathering organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in observance of International Youth Day (August 12).
Agudo joined an international panel of experts to tackle the year’s theme, “Building the Workforce of the Future.” Organizing partners ADB Youth for Asia and Plan International brought together stakeholders and close to a thousand delegates from across Asia-Pacific to celebrate the role of the youth as partners in confronting employment issues in the wake of technological and economic disruptions that are transforming the global business and labor landscapes.
In her remarks, Ms. Agudo called for intensified private-public sector collaboration to understand and adopt new learning and development techniques, as well as to accelerate innovation and creativity across industries. She also encouraged her young audience to do their part by aiming high, and by developing their talents to keep pace with technology.
HARI’s top honcho likewise cited Hyundai’s ongoing contribution to preparing the youth in developing nations for the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The recently inaugurated Hyundai Dream Center Philippines (HDCP) adds to the growing number of training centers established by Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) since 2013. These world class training and education hubs aim to prepare underprivileged yet deserving individuals for careers in the automotive and manufacturing industries.
“We all need to be armed with technical knowledge and skills plus the right attitude to be competitive in the global stage,” noted Agudo, “but technology alone will not drive us to succeed. The key is a highly-skilled workforce that knows how to build and use technology for the greater good.”
According to the ADB, there are more young people between ages 10 and 24 today than at any other time in human history. Nine out of 10 of these live in less developed countries.
Asia has the largest number of young people, with 754 million. In some developing member countries, the percentage of young people under age 24 exceeds 50 percent of the population.
While Plan International statistics reveal that at least 220 million young people in Asia Pacific are neither in school nor are employed. Of the employed youth, over 250 million are underemployed. Forty eight percent of employers are unable to fill vacancies due to lack of skilled applicants.
In the next decade, one billion young people are expected to join the labor market, most of whom will face irregular or informal employment.
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