We are not just entering an intelligent world, we are now living within one. Our world has been converted into digital signals, and humans are now connected to machines. Big data and artificial intelligence have made our lives easier, more responsive, and autonomous.

This has been possible because of technologies such as 5G, IoT, and artificial Intelligence. But it will also leave us with an estimated shortage of millions of 47 million tech talents by 2030, a study by Korn Ferry found. According to PwC’s 20th CEO Survey, more than 50 per cent of APAC CEOs say it’s difficult to hire digital talent with the right skills.

To combat this talent shortage and address current learning challenges from Covid-19, Huawei has launched multiple initiatives throughout the region to facilitate remote learning and enhance technical skills.

Learning through cloud

Huawei is helping to provide connectivity and e-learning to students and professionals alike. We have partnered with Bijoy Digital and UNESCO in Bangladesh to provide digital solutions and facilitate distance learning. Huawei Cloud and ULearning have also partnered in Indonesia to provide an online learning management system.

Education, along with AI healthcare and enterprise on cloud, is one of the three foundation services launched by Huawei Cloud as part of our global action plan to help customers fight Covid-19. We’re actively working with partners to provide online teaching services to schools during this pandemic so that teaching and learning activities can continue undisrupted.

The cloud platform will support distance learning where teachers and students can interact through audio, video and chat rooms. Online tools will enhance the efficiency of curriculum development and allow teachers to work together remotely and share teaching materials. Apart from empowering students to learn on their own using low-latency HD VOD, the platform will also distribute teaching content faster, enable online exams, and monitor learning progress in real time.

Regional partnerships

At the inaugural online Huawei Ecosystem Summit 2020 in Singapore, Huawei called for closer collaboration with its local partners to boost joint solution innovation as Singapore moves into Covid-19 economic recovery. We also announced our Virtual AI Academy with more than 140 free online courses. This will accelerate the training and up-skilling of Singapore ICT professionals and SME digitalisation as Singapore doubles down on its push towards a digital future.

Similar programs have been established in other Asia Pacific countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, providing thousands of ICT courses and hundreds of skilled trainers to nurture a national digital talent ecosystem. The Huawei program includes a top level design with well-defined ICT talent certification standards and a Huawei ICT Academy cooperation project for global universities. More importantly, we hold ICT competitions and job fairs for students to develop their skills, get recognised for it, and immediately secure employment opportunities in fields of their choosing.

The University of Malaya (UM) is the oldest and highest-ranking university in Malaysia. It has used Huawei’s knowledge to enrich teaching content, strengthen students’ knowledge, and improve their skills. In the 4th Huawei ICT Competition Global Final, the UM team competed with 65 universities from 30 countries and won first prize in the network competition.

“The Huawei ASEAN Academy in Malaysia plays an important role in ICT development towards digital economic growth. It is needed more than ever, to nurture and develop local talent to ensure that they are well equipped with the proper ICT knowledge to adapt to this ever-changing globalization landscape.” said YB Dato Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Communications and Multimedia of Malaysia.

Skills development

This year, Huawei officially released the Huawei ICT Academy Program 2.0, which aims to develop two million ICT professionals and popularise digital skills over the next five years by collaborating with universities. Huawei will set up the Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), with a total investment of at least US$50 million over the next five years.

In July, Huawei Indonesia signed a MoU with the Ministry of Education and Culture to collaborate with universities on e-Learning platforms, ICT training, competitions, student internships, and joint research.

“The digital economy is one of the factors affecting economic growth in the country. This cooperation is very important, because it relates to the need for competent human resources in the ICT field,” said Professor Ir. Nizam, Acting Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia. “Huawei’s technology and expertise support will greatly assist the digital transformation progress in universities, as well as improve the global competitiveness of higher education in Indonesia.”

At scale, Huawei supports cooperative education and has authorised training partners that can deliver Huawei certification training globally. With Academies and training partners established, we can promote the value of certification and cultivate the much needed talent for the ICT industry.

First, we leverage on our knowledge of the industry and provide Huawei certification through development solutions that allow students to learn and acquire new skills. We then use our Huawei ICT competitions and Job Fairs to allow students to get recognised and secure valuable employment at either one of our customers or partners, or even at Huawei directly.

The world ahead will be one dominated by devices; connecting, sensing and reacting to everything around us. We hope our education programs not only reaffirm our commitment to social responsibility, but also prepare the next generation of experts that will design and navigate this digital landscape. Our future depends on it.

Jay Chen is the Vice President for Huawei Asia Pacific.

Images by Huawei