ASEAN Youth Forum 1
ASEAN Youth Forum 1 (AYF 1) was held on 30th July in Monash University Clayton Campus and explored the topics of employment and tertiary education. It was a privilege to have our guest speaker Dominic Soh, the founder of Industry Bootcamp, to open the forum by delivering an inspirational story on how he sent out 526 resumes before landing his dream job. He also gave insight into the jobs market and the current unemployment numbers in Australia. Jaykerr Cheong as the president of AYO Australia spoke about tertiary education issues within ASEAN region. Being a university student himself, Jaykerr encouraged the audience to think about the importance of tertiary education institutions, its quality of teaching, as well as the present strategies in ASEAN countries set to improve their quality of education.
After the speaker’s session, students were randomly separated to represent each ASEAN country. They were provided with background material of the topics and were encouraged to do their own quick research about the current situation in their representing countries regarding tertiary education and employment. Since every country has their own policies, delegates had a chance to think critically and voice their opinions and ideas on what should be done by raising their placards. Finally, the discussion of the delegations revolved around recommendations proposed by every delegate that they hope would be able to build a stronger ASEAN.
ASEAN Youth Forum 2
With the success of the first event, the second instalment – ASEAN Youth Forum 2 was held on the 24th August in Melbourne University.
At this session, the topics of wages and working conditions were discussed to break down the common university student perspective of ASEAN countries constantly having less favourable working environment and wages compared to first world countries.
In the forum, wages were broken down into the minimum pays for each country and the background into how countries like Myanmar that depended on manufacturing are forced to keep wages low to remain competitive in a global market. Whereas working conditions was broken down to each aspect such as annual leave, overtime pay and sick leaves available.
Given the fact that every country faces different situations and implements a variety of policies, the discussion allowed delegates to explore concepts and policies that could aid in ASEAN's progression to a developed region. The discussion emphasised on the cooperation and collaboration between ASEAN member countries and Australia in tackling issues related to wages as well as working conditions. At the end of the day, one lucky delegate won an Instax Mini 8 for her contribution in inviting her friends to participate in AYF 2.
ASEAN Youth Forum 3
As we etched closer to the Australia-ASEAN Youth Summit, we turned our attention to the two most discussed topics for student delegates- migrations and entrepreneurship. These were the two topics discussed in the ASEAN Youth Forum 3 on September 7 at VU Flinders.
The first topic – migration, shed light on issues that have been worrying due to the high number of skilled professionals exiting rather than entering the ASEAN region. Yapit Japoetra from YNJ Migration Consulting shared his experience in helping people in getting their permanent residency in Australia so that they can contribute their skills in a different environment such as Australia and the reasons behind why these students desired to travel to Australia to start a career.
While the entreprenuership was shared by Dominic being an entreprenuer himself, shared a report from PwC which stated that half of the available jobs in the market today will be automated within the next 20 years. To this problem, the answer he sees to this issue is either to learn new skills or to create your own job by becoming an entrepreneur and to not shy away from problems but to embrace them and become a problem solver in the world.
These two topics, entrepreneurship and migration were discussed by the delegates with a role-play system as if everyone represented ASEAN member countries in a regional youth forum. At the end of the day, the ideas from delegates were discussed and explored to determine how the youth can do its part especially through entreprenuership to bring ASEAN to greater heights.