More jobs and no more visas across Asia? How ASEAN 2015 will shift an entire continent
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The Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN economic integration is just around the corner (in 2015, in fact) and Filipino professionals should look forward to an increase in job opportunities.

If you’re savvy with not only your English language skills but also on other Asian languages, you could be one of the firsts to enjoy these new opportunities. If not, it’s time to get some lessons. Don’t forget to save spaces on your passports, too, because various countries from the region will be more lenient in giving visas to tourists.

ASEAN’s vision of creating a single market and production base through the free flow of goods and services will open up jobs for Filipinos abroad. From future demands of jobs to necessary skill sets, here’s a rundown of what you need to know to grab hold of every future opportunity.

Companies from all over the region will have more openings for back-office support. This means that workers in IT, finance, accounting, and company administration have more chances of getting jobs abroad than those working in sales and marketing because their skill sets are universal and easily transferable. Fewer demands in sales and marketing positions abroad can be attributed to the cultural differences between migrant workers and their local audiences-to-be. This disconnect makes Filipino marketers less likely to land jobs in the same positions.

First-time job seekers better “shape up”. Those already high up in the corporate ladder will most likely seek opportunities abroad, particularly to travel and for better compensation. While officials fear that this brain drain will put a heavy strain on the domestic employment, companies will be inclined to relax qualifications to accommodate younger workers or even fresh graduates. This isn’t to say that the workforce quality will be inferior, just inclusive. First-time job seekers will be given an opportunity, and challenge, to rise to the occasion and prove their capabilities.

Skilled workers can also expect to have opportunities abroad with demands for TESDA-certified jobs in neighboring countries. Gravure technician operators, for example, those who operate the machines responsible for printing product labels, are in demand abroad while they abound in the country. This migration of workers can have a positive effect on the country’s economy as foreign remittances will boost the GDP. Not to mention its ripple effect of families being able to provide good food and education for their children.

Business will be booming. Or at least that’s the plan. Since more tourists are expected to visit the country due to the integration, this will mean more jobs for locals, especially those from hit tourist spots. With the economic integration, small and medium enterprises as well as those in the freight forwarding and manufacturing businesses will see a significant increase in their client base and employment rate, too. Of course the expanded market reach will also mean an increase in competition but this is an opportunity for business owners to develop plans that will not only sell their products but also put the Philippines ahead of its neighbor countries.

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