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3 August 2015: Plenary Session I

Where are the Jobs in Asia-Pacific?

Date: 3 August 2015

Time: 11.00-12.00



  • To examine labour market trends and their implications on skills development strategies in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To reflect on Return on Investment (ROI) in TVET and funding mechanisms in light of labour market changes  in Asia-Pacific; and
  • To examine the impact of the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on the labour market and skills development and job creation policies and practices in Southeast Asia and beyond.


Key questions:

  • What are the key labour market trends in Asia-Pacific?
  • How can employment and skills policies better support job creation at the local level?
  • What are the returns to education and training in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond?
  • How can investment in TVET adequately respond to labour market trends in Asia-Pacific?
  • What are the expected consequences of AEC on the labour market, and how should skills development and job creation policies and practices respond to these trends?



  • Mr. Gwang-Jo Kim, UNESCO (Chair)
  • Dr. Mazalan Kamis, Darul Ridzuan Institute (Chair)


  • Ms. Makiko Matsumoto, ILO Regional Office for Asia-Pacific
  • Mr. Philip Loveder, NCVER, Australia
  • Mr. Jonathan Barr, OECD
  • Dato’ Dr Pang Chau Leong, Ministry of Human Resource, Malaysia



The Asia-Pacific region is constantly changing. These multifaceted and multilayered changes are creating a reality in which many governments are faced with considerable youth unemployment while companies are struggling to fill jobs with adequately-skilled workers. An understanding of labour market trends and their implications on skills development strategies is necessary to be able to adequately tackle this problem. In this session, Ms. Matsumoto will provide an insight into regional labour market trends and present examples of how these trends are influencing skills development strategies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Following deliberations on labour market trends, Mr. Barr will give examples of local labour market trends and, by drawing on experiences from the OECD Programme on Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED), elaborate on how effective policy implementation, innovative practices, stronger capacities and integrated strategies can contribute to improved employment opportunities at the local level.

In terms of investment, it is recognized that investing in education and training provides significant returns to individuals.  Mr. Loveder will discuss the returns to additional investment in TVET, reviewing evidences from Australia.

Given Malaysia’s chairmanship of the ASEAN Community in 2015, Y.Bhg. Dato’ Dr Pang Chau Leong will examine the expected labour market changes in light of theASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, as well as its implications for human resource development in the region. He will discuss regional flows of skilled and unskilled labour, and draw lessons for national skills development policies and practices.