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APEC SOM2 Kicks-off with Human Resources Development Discussion on Shaping Smart Citizens with Digitalisation and Eco-friendly Awareness

The APEC Second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings kicks off today at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, with discussions on human resources development, pertinent to driving APEC towards post-pandemic digital economy that supports Thailand’s host year objective of sustainable and inclusive growth. During 9-12 May 2022, APEC delegates and experts working in education, capacity building and labour market policy will participate in a series of meetings organised by the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG), under the theme “Shaping Smart Citizens with Digitalisation and Eco-Friendly Awareness”, which was proposed by Thailand to support the APEC 2022’s theme of “Open. Connect. Balance.”


APEC conducts its work on human resources through 3 key networks under the HRDWG, namely the Capacity Building, the Education, and the Labour and Social Protection Networks. The 47th APEC HRDWG meeting this year will address economic and social challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation and created new job opportunities, it has also negatively impacted the employment prospects of those with low digital skills. Increasing green transition also raises questions on how education and skills development can best meet changing skill needs. Key discussion points include (1) Restyling Capacity Building to ensure skill sets that meet market demand in the post-pandemic environment (2) Future Proofing and Promoting Resilience in labour systems that can best adapt to new ways to working and challenges posed by digital transformation and green transitions and (3) Policy on Quality Education for Sustainable Development including digitalisation and green skills. In addition, the meetings will also look at the increasing problems of gender equity, the impact of atomation on employment as well as social protection policies to address new social risks in the changing world of work.


Representatives from international organisations including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training as well as leading educational institutions in APEC economies are also invited to exchange their views.


From the Thai side, Ms. Treenuch Thienthong, Thailand’s Minister of Education, will share her vision on the impact of COVID-19 and how to increase resilience of the education system at the Education Network Meeting on 11 May 2022. Thai representatives in the HRDWG will emphasise the importance of raising eco-friendly awareness among youth and collaborative direction of education, employment and decent work in the VUCA world, as well as to share Thailand’s experience of human resource capacity development in the electrical vehicle industry.


Thailand, as host of APEC 2022, prioritises the whole-of-society approach in driving its host year priorities, where human resources development especially focusing on digitalisation and eco-friendly awareness plays a crucial role. Smart citizens with digital and green skills are the future of quality workforce. The work of HRDWG ensures that APEC reaps the full benefits of enhanced digital connectivity and achieve a balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth. Promoting inclusive human capital development is one of the enablers of the Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy that Thailand proposes as a key deliverable of APEC 2022’s theme of “Balance.”