YLSS Regional Roundtable: Preparing Young People for the Future of Work- Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Economic Development and Jobs

Attention: open in a new window. Print

Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 June 2021 11:59)

The regional roundtable discussion on the said theme was part of the Youth-Led Solutions – The Future of the Work Summit (YLSS) organized by the World YMCA. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asia & Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) jointly organised the regional roundtable on 8 June 2021 through the online platform Hopin. Around 45 participants attended the roundtable.

The roundtable discussion had three main speakers:

Felix Weidenkaff, Employment Specialist, ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific

Edelene Rosin, the program officer of the YMCA of Albay, the Philippines

Michael Cheong, HRD Trainer, YMCA staff of Malaysia.

The speakers presented their talks on the following topics:

  • An overview on youth employment and the future of work in Asia and the Pacific
  • YMCA Enterprise
  • Life journey as an entrepreneur

Apart from the main speakers, the roundtable also had a youth panel:

Fabian Schokman- youth staff YMCA Sri Lanka

Jennifer Vasanthi – youth from YMCA India

Jeffrey Ratul Sangma- youth from YMCA Bangladesh

These youth panel shared their experiences and concerns on the GREEN, CARE and CREATIVE Economy briefly. Asher Leo, a member of the youth and gender equity committee, Malaysia, facilitated the process, and the discussion was moderated by Sunita Suna, executive secretary for programs of APAY.

Felix gave an overview of the labour market for youth in the Asia Pacific, which explained even before the COVID-19 crisis, youth in Asia and the Pacific were already in a vulnerable labour market situation. COVID-19 triggered a massive disruption of labour markets with disproportionate impacts on youth. He suggested a Human-centred approach to the future of work to address pre-crisis transformative changes driven by technological innovations, demographic shifts, environmental and climate change and globalization.

Edelene shared about the YMCA Enterprise of the ongoing project of YMCA Albay -Bukluran Sa Kabuhayan. The project conducts different livelihood skills training, Marketing & Promotion of locally hand-crafted products. The project has employed the community and helped in leadership & Community Building in Albay YMCA.

Michael shared his life journey to be an entrepreneur. He explained how he started with a real estate business in 2012 before joining the YMCA and decided to have his own business. He inspired young people to follow their passion and dreams. Currently, Michael works with different communities and passionate about helping small and medium businesses level up their marketing game and visibility in the market.

Their presentations stirred up a good discussion through a Q&A session among the participants and speakers.

Sunita, the moderator, summed up the roundtable by saying, “the roundtable discussion is the beginning of the important discourse on the future of the work on economic development and jobs, particularly for young people in the context of Asia Pacific – home to over 60% of the world's youth”. She further said in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, “young people are among the most vulnerable populations and disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to the ongoing disruption to labour markets.” She hoped today’s initiative would further discuss and actualize innovative/ creative ideas in diverse ways to promote and experience the Green, Care, and Creative Economy. The young people can be empowered and also be the solutions to the problems we face in our world today!

She also assured that the discussion would continue with follow up actions by the World YMCA and the APAY in collaboration with the ILO.

She concluded with a quotation by Vandana Shiva – the famous environmental activist from India. “In nature’s economy, the currency is not money; it is life” With this meaningful quote, she invited all to be encouraged, motivated and inspired to create a life centred economy – The GREEN, CARE and CREATIVE Economy.

By Sunita Suna
Executive Secretary for Programs- APAY