Hiring Digital Talents in ASEAN: How Businesses Can Leverage AI Skillset

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The latest news announcement by Microsoft AI to upskill 2.5 million people in the ASEAN region with AI skills by 2025 is a timely effort: communities across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam will be able to benefit from the upskilling initiative by the tech giant.1

COVID-19 has intractably accelerated the digital economy in the APAC region, especially in Southeast Asia. According to Google, Temasek, and Bain’s annual E-Conomy SEA 2022 Report, ASEAN’s digital economy is on course to reach US$600 billion to US$1 trillion by 2030 with sustained long-term projections.

The digital economy is one of the key factors that enables ASEAN’s growth journey. It creates an unprecedented demand for digital workers equipped with in-demand technical skills. As a background context, Singapore will need an additional 1.2 million digital workers - which is a 55% increase from today’s levels - by 2025 to remain competitive. In order to service its digital transformation pipeline, Indonesia will need an additional 600,000 digital talents annually until 2030. Malaysian think tank, the Social and Economic Research Initiative (SERI) findings conclude that only 4.8% of Malaysian private sector employers feel that the existing labour market can fully meet their digital talent needs. With the announcement of AI, upskilling by Microsoft Asia Pacific in the region, this can certainly help to fulfill the talent gap necessary in the region with Microsoft the future of work.2

As ASEAN is made up of young, diverse, and digitally savvy population, it benefits from digital transformation in ways such as:3

  • Having a youthful population that drives consumption and provides human capital
  • ASEAN’s ability to maximise the use of technology in aspects of life is made possible through digital adoption
  • Promotion of growth through the diversity in resources, expertise, and culture that encouraged innovation
  • Possessing the ability to participate and thrive in the new era of digital economy and trade through the development of the right skills at the right timing

A new research released by Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, found that 92% of ASEAN workers indicated an interest in developing AI skills to accelerate their careers. More than 9 in 10 Gen Z (93%), Millennial (93%), and Gen X (90%) workers express interest in acquiring AI skills, whereas 86% of Baby Boomers - a demographic usually contemplating retirement - say that they would enroll in AI upskilling courses if they were offered. Employers can bank on this sentiment by ASEAN workers by expecting a productivity payoff: the research mentioned that surveyed employers expect their organisation’s productivity to increase by 54% as AI technology automates repetitive tasks (69%), improves workflow and outcomes (68%), and enhances communication (64%). This is agreed by ASEAN workers too, as they believe that AI could raise their productivity by as much as 54% as well.4

Organisations that do not take advantage of AI could potentially be at a disadvantage in the digital economy. In the region’s rapidly changing technology landscape, more companies are adopting AI and machine learning (ML) for informed decision-making process and to unlock key insights so that they can innovate and grow. Leveraging on AI skillset will bring important growth opportunities to companies, especially when industries such as IT and telecommunications are leading the charge on AI adoption, followed by financial services and the public sector. Whether for tech or non-tech roles, remote tech companies hiring can leverage on these skillset and use AI to automate repetitive tasks, innovate at higher levels, and lift productivity.5

If you are looking to expand to the ASEAN region, AYP’s Employer of Record can help you grow your business and hire the best talent. Our Employer of Record solutions are:

  • Compliant 
  • Priced transparently
  • Equipped with in-house, localised HR experts and advisors

Contact us or book a demo with us today!

  1. Microsoft announces AI skilling opportunities for 2.5 million people in the ASEAN region by 2025 ↩︎
  2. Current Key Drivers of ASEAN Integration: Digital Skills and Mobilities ↩︎
  3. What skills do ASEAN countries need to meet the challenges of the future? ↩︎
  4. AI skills in ASEAN region spur career growth, better compensation ↩︎
  5. Why You Need To Invest In Cloud and AI Talent Now ↩︎
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