Hiroshima, Japan, 28 February 2010 - Employees must be able to adapt to new work environments; the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group is emphatic.
"The world is changing quickly as a result of the global economic situation and developments in information/telecommunication technology. This is not a temporary state of affairs," explains the group Chair, Dr. Alan Ginsburg, at the close of an HRDWG meeting today.
"The nature of work is changing. Some jobs are becoming obsolete; other jobs are being created and many of these are in areas that did not exist before. In order to ensure inclusive growth, education and training must be life-long. And this must be reflected in government planning and policy."
Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Chair, Dr. Charles Morrison notes that recent demographic shifts will lead to increased requirements for staff and new areas of expertise. He cites as examples:
  • Greater demand for tertiary education
  • Growing elderly population
  • Pressures on resources and the environment
  • New infectious diseases and pandemics
  • Chronic conditions and diseases associated with age and lifestyle changes

Capacity-building has always been an important component of APEC. Free trade increases opportunity; and capacity-building enables people to access those opportunities. Today, capacity-building is critical.

In 2009, APEC Leaders directed member economies to ensure that new economic growth would be balanced, inclusive, sustainable and knowledge-based. This has given capacity-building activities strategic urgency.

An APEC Human Resources Ministerial Meeting is scheduled to take place 16 ? 17 September in Beijing, China and will build on the work and recommendations of the HRDWG to date. Discussions will focus on:

Maintaining and expanding employment and adopting employment-oriented macro-economic policies;

Improving social safety nets and reinforcing social protection and employment assistance for vulnerable groups; and

Enhancing human resources capacity building and preparing the workforce to revitalise economic growth.

Ministers are expected to endorse a multi-year strategic plan.