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Remote working jobs on the rise in SEAsia

The shift online throughout Southeast Asia has brought about an evolution in how brands communication with their consumers. LinkedIn’s data shows a 48% increase in companies posting on the platform in June 2020, compared to a year earlier.

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Photo by Andrew Neel from Unsplash.com

In 2020, we saw unprecedented changes in the workforce. Some organizations streamlined their business functions, causing layoffs. Others revamped, and we saw that there was a rising demand for professionals with a diverse skills set. As we started working remotely, we saw a rise in demand for digital and soft skills. We also saw that employers had shifted from hiring based on credentials, and to hiring based on skills held. We saw professionals themselves take note of these trends and seek to reskill or upskill.

But what will 2021 bring? And what kinds of trends can we expect to see? To help workers in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, navigate the workforce in the new year, LinkedIn has identified  the fastest growing job categories since the onset of COVID-19, the top 15 jobs on the rise in Southeast Asia (including Philippines) and the skills required for them.  

Frank Koo, Head of Asia, Talent and Learning Solutions, said: “This list of jobs on the rise demonstrates that there are still opportunities for job seekers with a range of skills and experience. By adopting a lifelong learning mindset, and being open to picking up new skills through various courses — for example, courses on digital skills or soft skills — workers can prepare themselves to take up these emerging roles.”

For the full list of 15 jobs on the rise in Southeast Asia, refer to this report.

One common and overarching trend we have noticed among almost all the roles on our list is that most may be conducted remotely.  Globally, remote job opportunities on LinkedIn have increased four times since June. Professionals with digital skill sets will find themselves at an advantage in seeking employment opportunities within these fields. 

Other key trends we observe include: 

#1: Consumers in Southeast Asia have gone increasingly digital 

COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of digital platforms in the region. Technology has allowed people to work, stay connected to their loved ones and fulfill their daily needs like groceries, from the comfort of their own home. In fact, 1 in 3 of digital service consumers in Southeast Asia were new to the service. And more importantly, 94% of these new digital users are likely to stick with the service moving forward. As a result, we expect that the demand for workers with tech skills will remain, from specialized engineers, to cyber security talent and data analysts. 

Relevant jobs:  Data analyst roles, software and technology roles, cyber security roles, technology and engineering roles 

#2 Brands have found new ways to connect with consumers, leading to a rise in demand for digital marketers and content creators 

The shift online throughout Southeast Asia has brought about an evolution in how brands communication with their consumers. LinkedIn’s data shows a 48% increase in companies posting on the platform in June 2020, compared to a year earlier. This has led to growth in demand for digital marketers — professionals who seek to engage consumers effectively online, and digital content creators — those who are able to produce entertaining content across a range of channels.

Relevant roles: Digital content specialist roles, public relations roles, digital marketing specialist roles

#3 E-commerce boomed in 2020, leading to a rise of various sectors

In 2020, while online travel and transport services suffered, e-commerce, online media and food delivery services surged. The roles created by this boom do not require traditional educational degrees, or advanced technological skills. The rise of e-commerce, for example, is fueling more demand in logistics for warehouse skilled talent. And it is these roles that may be filled by professionals of varying skills and experience. In fact, globally the majority of people who fill these roles often come from non-emerging jobs.

Relevant roles: E-commerce roles, customer service roles, supply chain roles, business development and sales roles,

#4 Traditional roles have evolved, as a result of COVID-19

In 2020, we saw jobs that were traditionally conducted in-person evolve to be online. For example, we saw a growth in digital lending, education and HealthTech services. This is unsurprising, as 70% of Southeast Asia is now online. Those in these sectors, and beyond, need to have mastered the basics of technology, from communication tools, to social media platforms and basic office software. With these skills, workers will find that more opportunities will open up for them.

Relevant roles: Healthcare and medical support roles, healthcare and medical frontline roles, education roles, finance and insurance roles

To adapt to the rapidly changing job landscape, professionals will need to proactively pick up new skills required for these emerging roles. LinkedIn has various tools and resources to support professionals including:

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PLDT, Smart drive digital transformation, offer ‘lifeline’ to small biz

PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) forge ahead in extending services that enable Filipinos to thrive in the new normal, reinforcing the “backbone” of the economy.

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PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) forge ahead in extending services that enable Filipinos to thrive in the new normal, reinforcing the “backbone” of the economy.

“In the face of massive job losses in lower income sectors due to the shutdown of retail services and establishments, e-commerce platforms serve as a lifeline for minimum wage earners and small business owners. More than the bigger establishments’ digital adoption, our network services and solutions allow small players to go into online retailing and thrive in the new normal,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer, at a recent online summit hosted by the Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines.

The online summit series focused on reshaping the economy through inclusive business and highlighted the role of connectivity, e-commerce platforms and digital finance in the new normal, where customers have largely shifted from in-person transactions to online.

“An IBM research shows that in the space of 12 months, the pandemic has brought forward the transition from physical shopping to e-commerce by an estimated five years.  Banking has also gone digital. Payment and financial processing can be done in a click of a finger,” said Panlilio.

Workplace transformation

Panlilio added that, in addition to this shift, workplaces have also been transformed, alongside the entertainment needs of customers–both of which are empowered by connectivity and relevant services by PLDT and Smart.

“Analysts expect that in 2022 as much as 30% of the workforce will continue to work from home multiple days a week.  Meanwhile, as people stayed home for entertainment, broadband usage across the country rose exponentially,” he said, adding that these changes drove PLDT and Smart to rethink telco’s role as enabler of passions and utility on the internet, with a genuine focus on providing Filipinos with the tools and products to survive and thrive in the new normal.  

“The increased usage of data driven by work and study from home during the pandemic speaks of telco as a utility, while the increased use of data on a personal consumption level, such as video-streaming, online stories, e-games, etc., responding to the consumer’s need to be entertained and care for their overall wellbeing, describes telco as an enabler of people’s passion and purpose.  Both roles are equally important,” he stressed.

This is aligned with Smart’s “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which highlights Smart’s role in enabling customers in their pursuit of passion and purpose and achieving “personal revolutions” that generate lasting positive impact to society through connectivity, long-running community partnership programs, and CSR initiatives.

To address these growing data needs, PLDT and Smart are continuously investing in their integrated fixed and wireless networks.

“Transitioning to the new digital reality requires internet speeds to increase, coverage to expand and reliability to improve,” he said, adding that the companies continue to invest in their network infrastructure, particularly in their 5G networks, subsea cables, and towers, in order to secure the future of our country in this increasingly digital world.

Currently, PLDT and Smart are ramping up the rollout of Smart’s 5G network nationwide, which now has over 2,600 sites–the most extensive 5G network in the Philippines.

“Our investment in fiber is also crucial and continuous, to support our increasingly connected societies.  This is broadly split into the fiber connecting our homes with high-speed internet, and the enterprise point-to-point fiber network servicing the growing data demands of government and enterprise clients,” he said.

PH as ‘hyperscaler hub’

In addition to ramping up their fiber installation and repair capabilities despite the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, Panlilio said PLDT is also building capacities to bring hyperscalers into the country. “Ultimately, our vision is to help make the Philippines a strategic hyperscaler hub in the region,” he said.

Alongside all these, Panlilio said that providing network services to support the country’s COVID-19 response remains a top priority.

“The fact that network services are a crucial component in our country’s COVID-19 response is something that we take to heart.  Working with our government to deliver fast and reliable connectivity that is easily accessible where they are needed, such as in COVID isolation facilities, hospitals, health centers, LGUs, etc., is top priority for us at PLDT and Smart,” he said. “For PLDT and Smart, and telco in general, two words stand out: service and connection.”

Underpinning these services is PLDT’s fiber network infrastructure, now over 429,000 kilometers, the country’s most extensive. This fiber also supports Smart’s mobile network, which covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.

These initiatives form a large part of PLDT’s capital expenditures, which totaled P460.7 billion in the last ten years. To address the growing data needs of their fixed and wireless customers, PLDT and Smart are prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures in 2021.

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Xendit to support Phl startups with Level Up accelerator program

Level Up is part of the Philippine payment startup’s commitment to championing the growth of SMEs in the Philippines, while making financial transactions safer and simpler in the digital age.

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Xendit is powering the local small and medium enterprises (SME) community in the Philippines with the launch of its Level Up program. The initiative will feature a series of master classes and challenges to give local startups the tools and know-how to scale their businesses.

Level Up is part of the Philippine payment startup’s commitment to championing the growth of SMEs in the Philippines, while making financial transactions safer and simpler in the digital age.

“Xendit is also a product of a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley, which helped us build a fast, secure, and seamless payment platform for Southeast Asia. Through our time with Y Combinator, we recognized the importance of mentorship in a startup’s growth. We hope to offer the same kind of support for local entrepreneurs and SMEs,” says Yang Yang Zhang, Managing Director of Xendit Philippines.

As the first part of the campaign, Xendit will launch the Business Pitch Challenge where they will select 50 to 100 startups who will get P3.5 million in waived fees to use their service. The selected SMEs will enjoy a secure, easy-to-integrate payment system and a seamless payment experience for their clients. The selected startups will also join a master class to learn how to maximize their payment gateway experience.

For the overall programme, the Xendit Level Up initiative will waive P3.5 million per business in free transactions for up to 1000 entrepreneurs and businesses in Philippines and Indonesia to scale and level-up, while embracing the digital transactions that are increasingly critical in the region. The company will provide comprehensive payment options, quick set-up, and instant payment process so they can be onboarded right away.

To join Level Up, create a 3-minute video to upload on Youtube with the hashtag #LevelUpPH, and submit the link of your video along with the filled up application form on http://bit.ly/xenditph-level-up from April 23 to June 30, 2021. Entrepreneurs who wish to participate in the Business Pitch Challenge can create a video pitch explaining their current product or service.

“We are excited to meet promising startups in the Philippines and see how we can work together so they can reach their idea’s economic potential. We are confident that this program can nurture the businesses of tomorrow and in turn, continue building the country’s digital payments infrastructure,” says Yang Yang.

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UPS helps its Phl customers maintain critical infrastructure following typhoon

UPS’s recent expansion of its Worldwide Express Freight (WWEF) shipment service to more postal codes in the Philippines comes as welcome news to West Point Engineering, a long-time customer of UPS.

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Sitting in a tropical storm-prone belt of the Pacific Ocean known as ‘typhoon alley,’ the Philippines experiences an average of 20 tropical storms every year. 

Last year, on top of dealing with the pandemic, the Philippines was hit by Super Typhoon Goni, the most powerful tropical cyclone in the world in 2020. Goni, or Rolly as it’s locally known, ploughed through Luzon and affected 2.7 million people, displacing 31,000 and damaging or destroying 281,000 homes. Sanitation and hygiene become immediate concerns in the aftermath of a storm like this, with essential water infrastructure usually damaged.

West Point Engineering Supplies Incorporated provides specialized products and solutions to essential infrastructures in the Philippines, such as water, energy and meteorology. 

Among its list of projects is a 10-year program with the weather information services company, Earth Networks, and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. They’ll collaborate to use weather monitoring sensors that provide earlier warnings for tropical storms. 

For West Point Engineering, speed and efficiency is essential in installing and maintaining specialized equipment like weather radars, which can save lives and homes. 

That’s why UPS’s recent expansion of its Worldwide Express Freight (WWEF) shipment service to more postal codes in the Philippines comes as welcome news to West Point Engineering, a long-time customer of UPS.

Businesses like West Point Engineering will benefit from time-guaranteed palletized shipments above 70 kilograms to more areas in Bulacan, Mabalacat, Angeles City, Laguna and Batangas, allowing businesses to more easily and quickly replenish bulk inventories. This helps customers meet urgent, sometimes life-saving, delivery requirements. 

“We have been a partner of UPS for over seven years,” said Dennis Ziganay, president and CEO of West Point Engineering. “Through this pandemic, we’ve been able to meet the demands of these challenging times … thanks to UPS.” 

With businesses needing a more agile and precise process in responding to the needs of the market and its customers, accessibility is key in responding to natural disasters around the globe.

“Exporters, SMEs and long-time partners like West Point Engineering are important contributors to the local economy. As they grow and expand, we listen to their changing supply chain requirements and cater to their needs,” said Chris Buono, managing director of UPS Philippines and Indonesia. 

 “Whether it’s one of the several natural calamities that occurred in the Philippines or an ongoing pandemic, UPS is committed to delivering what matters for our customers as they bounce back from a difficult year,” Buono ended. 

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