Supporting The Asean Economic Community (AEC) » Services » Increasing Mobility of Services Professionals

Increasing Mobility of Services Professionals

This focus area supports the mobility of skilled labour, particularly within the tourism sector, across the ASEAN region.

One of the key platforms for delivery of services in foreign markets is movement across markets by services professionals. This focus area will support ASEAN Member States to increase the mobility of service professionals by providing assistance to implement Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA). Cross recognition of professional standards is a key facilitator of trade in services in various sectors.

One of the key sectors is tourism, a labour-intensive industry. Based on the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2010 statistics, tourism contributed around 4.2 percent of ASEAN's GDP or around US$ 78 billion. In 2010 the number of workers in the tourism industry reached around 8.8 million people. According to UNED-UK's Project Report, (1999) Gender & Tourism: Women's Employment and Participation in Tourism1, tourism is a particularly important sector for women. The Report notes that in those countries where tourism is a more mature industry, around 50 percent of the workforce are women2. Tourism provides various entry points for women's employment and opportunities for creating self-employment in small and medium sized income generating activities, creating paths towards the elimination of poverty of women and local communities3.

Currently, the tourism sector is the most advanced in terms of implementing a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on tourism professionals. The ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2011-20154 sets out the strategy to implement the MRA. Through AADCP's support, three milestones have been produced to support the MRA: a) the ASEAN Common Competency Standards for Tourism Professionals (ACCSTP); b) the Common ASEAN Tourism Curriculum (CATC); and c) Regional Qualifications Framework and Skills Recognition System (RQFSRS). AADCP II will support further work required to implement these milestones.

Citations and References
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
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