Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, Executive Director of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), presents the Manila Declaration to the participants of the ACE Conference
The employers’ organizations (EOs) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed on a Framework on Skills Development, which they called the Manila Declaration, during the recent Conference of the ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE) at Marriott Hotel on 20 April 2018. It was hosted by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) as Secretariat of ACE.
These employers’ organizations which are all members of ACE are from the Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand.
The EOs have collectively agreed to promote the ACE Framework on Skills Development through understanding the changing environment and aligning the future of their workforces to new development strategies and future skills requirements; addressing the concerns of improving educational and skills quality in particular; knowing what kinds of skills gaps exist in their businesses and promote training in both technical and soft skills which are highly valued; influencing policy-makers in developing supportive economic and social policies which strengthen education and industry relationships; and contributing to the achievement of the Social Development Goals through enterprise-based measures that promote environmental awareness, energy efficiency, waste management and other related measures.
The EOs specifically pushed for the adoption of innovative approaches to workplace-based learning to enhance both the technical and soft skills of workers in enterprises; improve the employability of the youth workforce by supporting measures which link school to work; and addressing the effects of disruptive technologies and empower businesses and the citizenry to shape a future that work for all across all lifetimes.
In addition, the EOs sought to promote continuous tripartite partnerships and share experiences and best practices as an important strategy to strengthen human resources development and management among enterprises and businesses for high quality skills.
At the same time, the body sought to encourage ASEAN Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs)to promote certified skills development programmes among their member companies through varied advocacy initiatives and multi-sectoral engagements.