ASEAN Youths Change Jobs to Learn New Skills: World Economic Forum

WEF suggests that there is a strong need for businesses, especially SMEs to increase investment in human capital development

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The number one reason that ASEAN youths change jobs is to learn new skills, according to the World Economic Forum’s report published this month (August). The report — ASEAN Youth Technology, Skills and the Future of Work — conducted in collaboration with consumer internet company, Sea, examined responses from 56,000 ASEAN citizens aged between 15 and 35 years old from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


According to its findings, WEF suggests that there is a strong need for businesses, especially small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase investment in human capital development – both to ensure a high-quality workforce and as a source of competitive advantage to attract workers.

WEF asked respondents to choose their primary reason for changing jobs from 14 different options. Of the total respondents, 19 per cent chose their primary reason as “for better opportunities to learn and develop”, followed by “for better salary/income”. On the other hand, 5.7 per cent of respondents report having lost a job because their skills were either no longer relevant, or technology displaced their job. The report adds that youths in order to keep skills constantly updated in the face of technological change is also reflected in attitudes to jobs. 

Credit: ASEAN Youth Technology, Skills and the Future of Work by World Economic Forum

The report also highlights that ASEAN youths are highly aware of potential disruptions and challenges that the Fourth Industrial Revolution may bring to their employment prospects. While youths working for big multinational companies (MNCs) say they are more likely to receive formal on-the-job training than those who work for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or family businesses.

“Nobody can say for sure how technology will change the future of work. The only certainty is that job markets face accelerating disruption, where the durability of many skills is shortening. It is encouraging that ASEAN youths are aware of these challenges and show a deep commitment to lifelong and constant learning,” the WEF statement cited Justin Wood, head of Asia Pacific and member of the executive committee.

Wood has a good reason for this to say and the experts and mentors Entrepreneur interacted with before, had already prepared a to-do list which can be seen here:

Dipen Pradhan

Written By

Dipen is a senior correspondent for Entrepreneur, Asia Pacific edition. He joined Entrepreneur after a stint reporting on India's startup ecosystmem for Inc42 and, prior to that, more than four years covering human interest news on an array of issues for The Statesman. He is a graduate in Humanities & Social Sciences, with major in English and Journalism from Orient College, Tribhuvan University. You may write to him at