Private sector should adopt more flexible approaches to developing talent for digital jobs while workers must embrace lifelong learning of digital skills to compete modern global trends of foreign and regional markets. Talking to a delegation of IT professionals led by Mian Faiz Bukhsh, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s United Business Group Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik sitar-I-Imtiaz said here Sunday that as one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, Asia and the Pacific has witnessed rapid digitisation in recent years while the trend was evident before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic catalysed a dramatic acceleration in the demand for digital skills and jobs. He said nearly 65% of GDP in the Asia Pacific region will be digitised by end of this year. He said this transformation will require a workforce across industries with basic, intermediate and advanced digital skills and Pakistan must equip its businesses and workforce with digital literacy meeting emerging demands of new patterns of global marketing. He said while not everyone needs to be a data scientist, foundational digital literacy is a prerequisite for nearly all job profiles across industries and regions. Shahzad Ali Malin said digital literacy is a prerequisite and employers must add basic digital literacy to essential requirements for job as workers with intermediate or advanced digital skills were much more in demand than those with only basic digital skills. He said employers can benefit from adopting more flexible approaches to hiring programming talent, including by identifying talent skilled through online, micro and modular learning, as opposed to more traditional degree programs. Leader of the delegation Mian Faiz Bukhsh speaking on the occasion about gender gap said males dominate the renewable energy industries, but e-learning has a better gender balance. He said E-learning tends to have lower barriers to entry in terms of skills, work flexibility, and social acceptance, indicating progress toward gender parity. However, he said developing policies that encourage participation of women across growing industries, such renewable energy, is essential. He said the COVID-19 pandemic effectuated a drastic change in how people work globally. Digital transformation across Asia and Pacific economies is driving demand for digital jobs and skills at unprecedented rates he added. He said with digitisation pervading all industries, every worker must be equipped with at least basic digital skills to remain relevant in the post-pandemic labour market. Mian Faiz Bukhsh said workers must also cultivate a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning of digital skills. This is how we will continue to create economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce he concluded.