ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Pillar and Brunei Youth Council Organize the 1st Innovation Platform Dialogue “Youth Employment and Digitalisation in the ASCC Perspectives” for ASEAN Youth

Bandar Seri Begawan, 27 September 2021

The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Pillar, through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam, as the National Secretariat and Chair of ASCC2021, in collaboration with Brunei Youth Council and the ASEAN Secretariat, today organized the inaugural Innovation Platform Dialogue via video conference, which forms one of Brunei Darussalam’s key deliverables, during its tenure as ASEAN 2021 Chair.

The Innovation Platform Dialogue was conceptualized to be an annual event, with the main intention for the ASCC Pillar to deepen and strengthen its institutional engagements with partners and stakeholders on strategic issues of mutual attention. This year, under Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship, with the theme of “Youth Employment and Digitalisation in ASCC Perspectives”, corresponding to Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN 2021 theme, “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, it seeks to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to peoples’ livelihood and the opportunities created in responding to technological advancements under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

The Dialogue was opened by Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa bte Haji Ash’ari, member of Brunei Darussalam’s Legislative Council and President of Brunei Youth Council and Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as the Chair of the Senior Officials Meeting for Socio-Cultural Community Council (SOCA), and observed by SOCA Leaders and His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for ASCC. The Dialogue was moderated by Mr. Allen Lai, from UK-ASEAN Business Council Brunei Darussalam.

During the dialogue, youth representatives from all ASEAN Member States participated to listen to renowned speakers from ASEAN Member States and the United Kingdom, share their own experiences on the opportunities and challenges in the labour market amongst young people, and how to leverage on opportunities created through the pandemic and 4IR. In her remarks, Yang Mulia Hajah Nor Ashikin also shared that findings from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted youth employment more than adult employment, and with the ASEAN region comprising of 40% youth population, broad policy support is needed to ensure ASEAN is able to meet the needs and aspirations of its young people, as they will define ASEAN’s common future. The Dialogue therefore provided an opportunity, for the youth to engage with those who have already established themselves in their various fields, for them to share their invaluable experiences, and inspire others on what is needed to succeed in the new normal. Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa emphasized that ASEAN recognises that the youth have a deep connection with technology and social media, where young people are not just the consumers of these applications, they are also the innovators and they are the people that are paving the way for more innovations to come.

The recommendations and appropriate solutions from this Dialogue are expected to be discussed at the 31st SOCA Meeting to be held tomorrow, to be elevated to the 26th ASCC and to be shared to the relevant ASCC Sectoral Bodies.

The Dialogue was concluded by His Excellency Dr Dy Khamboly, Deputy Secretary-General of the GS-NYDC, Spokesperson and Deputy General of Directorate General of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, as SOCA-Cambodia and incoming SOCA-Chair.

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984