26.06.2020 by RECOTVET

Franziska Seel, Thao Dinh Phuong


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Country in Focus:



2 November 2019 was a night of celebration at the ASEAN Business Awards in Bangkok, when some of the region’s leading companies were recognised for their contributions to economic growth and prosperity. And for the first time, these prestigious awards included a skills development category. The Skills Development Award honors companies which have demonstrated leadership and made significant investments in human resources development.

The publication "ASEAN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AWARD - THE 2019 WINNERS" showcases the first regional and national winners of the ASEAN Skills Development Award. The winning companies have demonstrated contributions to building the professional technical and vocational skills of the ASEAN workforce that takes into account ASEAN’s skills requirements today and tomorrow and cooperation between business and public education systems.

The publication is developed in hope that the winners' stories will encourage other businesses to follow their lead and invest in building partnerships for sustainable human resource development. We hope the 2019 award winners’ stories will motivate you to tell us how your business is building skills for the future and inspire you to apply for the next round of the Skills Development Award.



A tech-education start-up nurturing a winning network of developers

Winner of ASEAN Skills Development Award 2019, SME Tier
Industry: Information and communications technology   |   Country: Indonesia

"We believe that learning skills not only opens opportunities, but also empowers individuals. Coding, in particular, is an essential skill to thrive in the digital era. It is our hope that through Dicoding Academy, we can increase coding literacy in Indonesia and accelerate regional competitiveness in the global digital economy."

Narenda Wicaksono, CEO

A robust digital economy depends on the quality and skills of its IT workforce. The challenge for Indonesia is how to upskill the nation’s developers and IT professionals with the latest cutting-edge developments in technology. This was the starting point for Dicoding Indonesia and its business model. Since 2015, it has built and nurtured the programmer and developer ecosystem in Indonesia and fostered an award-winning network of IT talent. Its strategy consists of four pillars: training, challenges, networking events and job placement.

Dicoding Academy embodies the company’s mission to equip the IT Industry with the best developer talent on the market. It has already provided IT training for around 150,000 developers. The learning platform is highly professional and offers a large variety of online learning tools such as videos, podcasts and discussion forums. A distinct feature of Dicoding Academy is its code review system. All Dicoding students are required to submit codes as part of their assignments, which are then reviewed by a team of certified experts.

The Academy’s social impact is particularly important: learners come from all backgrounds and many are from disadvantaged groups. They include people with disabilities, women, the young or unskilled and retrainees looking for a new career. Gaining access to the tech industry is a winwin-situation for them. They earn a living while providing the industry with the skills it needs to prosper.

The Challenge programme embodies Dicoding’s mission to spark developers to create successful global products. By March 2020, Dicoding had organised 185 online hackathons and competitions, giving young people the opportunity to use their creativity and hone their future skills. The results speak for themselves: participants have created more than 6,100 digital solutions which have been downloaded more than 225 million times.

Enabling talented professionals to share and discuss their ideas and experience is vital for the industry’s development. This inspires Dicoding to hold regular offline events and workshops for its network of 260,000 developers from 500 cities across the country.

However, Dicoding’s mission involves more than training and networking. After all, training only pays off if people use their skills in the workplace. Through its job platform, Dicoding brings graduates and the industry together. Working with more than 100 major businesses, including ExxonMobil, Telkom Indonesia and IBM, Dicoding connects opportunities for its graduates to apply as highly qualified candidates for internships and full-time jobs. Dicoding’s management understands the importance of collaboration in creating change. It has therefore partnered with a wide range of stakeholders, from government agencies and vocational schools to global IT companies and United Nations organisations. Leading Academy partners including Google, Microsoft, LINE, AWS, and IBM – provide Dicoding Academy with guidance on curriculum and verification.

The jury’s judgement: Dicoding uses a creative and innovative business model to achieve its mission: enabling developers to create successful global products and building an IT industry with the best developer skills on the market.



Established : 2015


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Number of employees : 32
Skills development activities
  • online training
  • offline workshops and networking
  • online hackatons
  • job placement


A responsible business committed to human capital development

Winner of ASEAN Skills Development Award 2019, Large Tier
Industry: Healthcare and industrial solutions   |   Country: Myanmar

"‘One of the top challenges for foreign and local investors in Myanmar is the shortage of skilled labour. As a responsible business, Sea Lion contributes resources for skills development in the advanced and value-added manufacturing industry in order to promote investment, foster economic development, increase employment and lift living standards for the people of Myanmar."

Dr. Win Zaw Aung, CEO

From stents for patients with heart conditions to factory automation – Sea Lion is a leading provider of a wide variety of products, services and solutions in healthcare, education and industrial automation in Myanmar. Global partners include GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Olympus and Festo. What makes Sea Lion special is that it invests a significant percentage of its revenue in developing the skills of its young workforce. The company has grown quickly and therefore needs a large number of well-trained employees to continue its dynamic development and maintain its compliance with ambitious national and international standards. It has also invested heavily in building capacity in healthcare and industrial automation in Myanmar.

In 2016, Sea Lion partnered with Myanmar’s Ministry of Education to establish the School of Industrial Training and Education (SITE). The School opened in 2018 and offers occupational skills-based training in advanced manufacturing and environmental technologies, particularly

  • industrial automation,
  • computerised numerical control metal cutting,
  • water and wastewater management,
  • solar and wind power and
  • woodworking

SITE applies training models used in Germany and Austria, two of the world’s leading countries in technical and vocational education and training.

While the Ministry provided funding for the construction and renovation of SITE’s buildings and the procurement of furniture, Sea Lion mobilised its business partners to invest USD 1.2 million in architectural design and training equipment. Sea Lion has made a major contribution to SITE’s operation and to safeguarding its long-term future as a provider of high-quality training. The company contributed to the development of training curricula and is involved in curriculum review and updating. It also offers training for SITE teachers.

The School has already established a very good reputation with industry and students alike. Around 150 students are currently enrolled in seven short-term training courses. After completing the training, most of them will either enter the workforce or continue studying at advanced level

Sea Lion is engaged in other skills development programmes as well. It endowed training centres at Yangon General Hospital and Mandalay General Hospital, has been involved in developing the skills of healthcare professionals and offers internships to university and college students. Its Education and Social Fund is dedicated to improving educational standards, healthcare and social welfare in Myanmar.

The jury’s judgement: As a responsible business, instead of seeking an immediate return on its investment, Sea Lion takes a longer-term approach.



Established : 1997


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Number of employees : more than 500
Skills development activities
  • Establishment of School of Industrial Training and Education (SITE)
  • Sea Lion Education and Social Fund
  • Corporate Educational Responsibility




An energy company dedicated to education and occupational development for everyone

Industry: Tourism and hospitality    |   Country: Philippines

"Human resource development is essential for achieving our vision of being the leading premium leisure resort destination in the Philippines. Training is the key to our company’s success."

Simonette V. Gusi, General Manager

Acuatico Beach Resort is a tourism enterprise in the Laiya region in the Philippines. Despite having fewer than 50 staff, it invests considerable effort in developing its employees’ skills and is known for its outstanding training culture. Employees participate in skills training for at least 40 hours per year. They receive financial assistance if they enroll in short courses, continue their higher education or obtain national certificates in areas such as food and beverage servicing, housekeeping and front office operations.

But Acuatico’s skills development programme is not only aimed at its own employees. The resort is a pioneer stakeholder in the K to 12 Plus project. ‘K to 12’ stands for ‘From kindergarten to grade 12’ and is the Philippine government’s education reform strategy. K to 12 Plus promotes technical and vocational education and training in senior high schools, mainly targeting students in grades 11 and 12. The programme pilots innovative dual training approaches and aims to produce employable graduates with marketable skills that match companies’ needs for mid- to high-level employees.

As Acuatico is a small company, cooperation with public and private stakeholders is key to its strategy’s success. The programme was designed with partners such as

  • the Association of Laiya Resort Owners,
  • Laiya National High School,
  • the Department of Education,
  • the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and
  • the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

The resort supports the delivery of the programme in the local high school and cooperates with universities and TVET colleges. Together with the Association of Laiya Resort Owners (ALRO), it trains 100 to 150 students and delivers around 125,000 hours of training per year. In addition, 15 to 20 interns each year have the opportunity to gain work experience at Acuatico, one of the Philippines’ premium resorts and winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame Award and the Traveller’s Choice Award for consistently receiving great reviews.

Acuatico’s approach has proved to be the right one. Around 60 per cent of the project’s alumni have already been hired by participating resorts. The Philippine Department of Education is currently drafting a policy to integrate the programme into its K to 12 curricula for nationwide rollout. K to 12 Plus has become a model for other public and private organisations that are planning to run similar programmes in other industries.

The jury’s judgementThe company’s tireless work in uman resource development has done much to build a well-trained workforce in the region’s tourism industry. It is remarkable how Acuatico Beach Resort has integrated skills development and training into its vision.



Established : 2007


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Number of employees : more than 50
Skills development activities
  • continuous education programme for staff
  • dual education and training for senior high school students
  • in-company trainers


A company with an outstanding learning culture

Industry: Logistics   |   Country: Singapore

"We believe and invest in skills development because we view our employees as our greatest asset. With the proliferation of technology and growing competition, our company has to uplift the skillset of our workforce so that we have the agility to respond to disruptive innovations and grow our business. By investing in our people today, we can stay ahead of the game tomorrow."

Gideon Lam, CEO

Shalom International Movers has been a trusted moving and storage business in Singapore since 1982. Embracing change and disruptive technologies from the start, the company has since evolved and widened its portfolio to encompass other services such as moving, freight forwarding, shipping and e-commerce logistics.

It is a pioneer in skills development. Lifelong learning is one of its six corporate values and developing the workforce’s skills has always been a priority. Shalom has partnered with Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to create courses which offer its employees better career opportunities within the company or the industry. This approach has paid off: more than 25 per cent of its employees stay for more than 10 years – in an industry which typically sees a high turnover rate.

However, Shalom International Movers does not only focus on its own employees. It is also an approved training provider accredited under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System. Some years ago, the management aimed to identify the key skills of relevance to the logistics industry, including skills that will be needed in future. It used its insights to design learning programmes in partnership with ITE. The company’s approach is innovative and powered by digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, chatbot data analytics, customer relations management and robotic process automation. It has also developed a mobile app which provides ‘bite-sized learning on the go’.

Cooperation with the public education and training system is vital for Shalom’s corporate strategy, so the company works with schools and colleges, including ITE, for internships and apprenticeships (Work-Learn Technical Diploma) and the Republic Polytechnic (Earn and Learn Programme). Together with the Singapore Logistics Association, Shalom Movers participated in the Supply Chain Challenge 2019 as a mentor for students from Singapore Polytechnic, who won first place in the 2019 competition.

Lean management is another area where Shalom Movers is engaged in partnership with Singapore’s Institute of Technology. The goal is to make the company more productive and efficient while providing customers with improved services.

Shalom International Movers has been honoured with various awards, including Great Place to Learn certification and the SkillsFuture Employer Award 2019, which recognises outstanding organisations which champion skills development and a lifelong learning culture in the workplace.

The jury’s judgement: Shalom International Movers is an outstanding example of how to incorporate lifelong learning into a forward-looking business culture.



Established : 1982


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Number of employees : around 200
Skills development activities
  • accredited training provider
  • certified on-the-job training centre, designs learning programmes for students
  • apprenticeships.


A ship design company promoting development for its employees continuous learning and professional

Industry: Ship design   |   Country: Philippines

" Human capital and its inherent talent are the company’s
greatest resource. Unlike others which generally depreciate
over time, our employees are valuable and dynamic resources
that can create and enhance value towards the future.

Segismundo F. Exaltacion Jr., President

Tsuneishi Technical Service (Phils.), Inc. (TTSP) was established in 1992. The company designs ocean-going ships and other marine structures, complementing the portfolio of the Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Company in Hiroshima, Japan, which is also part of the Tsuneishi Group.
TTSP regards its workforce as its core corporate asset and is committed to providing all its employees with the opportunity to grow and attain their full career potential. The company encourages its management to take an active role in promoting employees’ continuous professional development and in helping them grow and become a better version of themselves to help the organisation truly succeed.

TTSP is engaged in various forms of skills development, not only for its own workforce but also for high school and college students and micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs).

In January 2019, TTSP established a technical training department to improve the effectiveness and monitoring of its skills development programmes, specifically its in-house training. One programme targets its design technicians who do not have a Bachelor’s degree, with the aim of improving their career prospects. Taking into account their practical knowledge, TTSP gives them the opportunity to enrol in the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency & Accreditation Program (EETEAP) and work towards a Bachelor’s in Engineering.

The jury’s judgement: Tsuneishi’s skills development activities are remarkable and target the company’s own workforce and also students and other companies. The programmes take many different approaches, from mentoring to on-the-job training and opportunities to gain a university degree. 



Established : 1992


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Number of employees : 600
Skills development activities
  • expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency & Accreditation Program (EETEAP)
  • on-the-job training
  • senior high school work immersion
  • mentorship for micro, small and medium-sized
    enterprises, design skills upgrading, design plan comprehension for shipyard workers,
  • Basic Management Programme (BMP)
  • Frontline Leadership & Management Programme (FLMP)


An energy company dedicated to education and occupational development for everyone

Industry: Energy   |   Country: Thailand

"PTG Group recognises that every employee is important to
business. We provide the opportunity for employees at all levels to
access skills and knowledge development. The aim is to increase
efficiency and effectiveness and to deliver a better service for both internal and external customers in a changing world.

Pitak Ratchkitprakarn, President and CEO

PTG Energy is a large energy services corporation in Thailand with over 17,000 employees. It is mainly known for the storage and distribution of petroleum products, operating more than 1,000 gas stations across the country.

PTG believes that providing someone with educational and occupational opportunities gives them the chance to make a lasting impact on society. It offers skills development opportunities for its staff, but also cooperates with universities and runs training programmes as part of its CSR activities. PTG builds employees’ knowledge and skills to continuously improve their performance and supports their career path through its Employee Development Policy, which is aimed at employees at all levels – from petrol pump attendants to top managers.

In 2018, PTG set up its Volunteer Innovator Project, which provides its managers and executives with the opportunity to upgrade their skills, particularly soft skills such as teamwork, creativity and critical thinking.

In collaboration with several universities, PTG offers three- to six-month internships for students majoring in subjects such as engineering, economics, accountancy, marketing and business administration. One of PTG’s subsidiaries, Punthai Coffee, collaborates with the College of Innovation Management to offer student apprenticeships. A partnership with King Monkut's University of Technology Thonburi focuses on a new supply chain project. PTG also supports the provision of vocational training to students facing financial hardship in order for them to become independent adults with income-generating occupations.

PTG’s focus on people with physical disabilities is particularly noteworthy. In addition to hiring people with disabilities, PTG offers several training programmes in cooperation with the Association of Persons with Physical Disability in Udon Thani and Uthai Thani Province (2018), Phichit and Lopburi Province (2019). Fire-fighting training courses have also been a key focus of interest for the company. In 2018, 4,760 persons took part in these training events, some of which were conducted in cooperation with local schools and colleges.

For this extraordinary commitment, PTG has been selected for the Thailand Sustainability Investment Award from the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2018 and 2019 and the Thai Chamber of Commerce Best Ethics Award in 2018.

The jury’s judgement: PTE Energy encourages skills development inside and outside the company to create sustainable value for the community.



Established : 1988


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Number of employees : more than 17000
Skills development activities
  • leadership development programme
  • occupational aid for the disabled
  • internships and apprenticeships

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