Filipino workers "need to get smarter"

May 2013 | Servcorp

We're all well aware of the advancements that the Philippines has made in its quest to establish itself as one of the world's leading tech hubs. However, according to the head of the nation's science and technology department Mario Montejo, its workforce needs to learn more about the latest information and communications technology if the country is to achieve its full potential.

In a statement, Montejo said: "We need to develop ‘smarter people' to keep abreast with the developments. Developing smarter people means building up knowledgeable workers with 21st century skills.”

While the phrasing of ‘smarter people' could perhaps offend at face value, it's all part of the Smarter Philippines programme that's been implemented by the Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The idea of the whole programme is that it's – you guessed it – going to make the Philippines a smarter nation all around, with the other components being Smarter Government, Smarter Economy, Smarter Mobility, Smarter Environment, Smarter Living and Smarter Cities.

So what qualities are the Filipino workforce likely to gain off the back of Montejo's observations?

Well, aside from the fairly obvious IT skills which will need to be instilled in workers of all backgrounds and ages, it's been identified that many will need to learn how to think critically from a business perspective, and they'll also need to learn the likes of effective oral, multimedia, multilingual, creative and analytical skills.

The benefits of doing so are obvious from the standpoint of the Philippines as a nation – a home grown workforce that can deliver in all facets of modern IT business will not only be highly beneficial from a practical standpoint, it'll make sense from a financial one as well.

It's hardly a one way street either. The ability for Filipino workers to gain modern and transferable skills sets them up to earn a more lucrative living as time goes on, and in essence gives them every chance to go as far as they're driven to.

Where the programme leads to is obviously still up in the air, but when viewed through an optimistic lens, it promises to be one that'll benefit Filipino workers, business owners and the government in equal measure.