Reskilling has emerged as a top priority for professionals in Singapore, said Hays when recently releasing a new report.
The report, titled Uncovering the DNA of the Future Workplace in Asia, is based on a survey of more than 9,000 working professionals across Asia firstly in February 2020 and later between September – October 2020, according to Hays.
The overwhelming majority of respondents in Singapore regard upskilling as important, to their professional development, with reskilling topping their list of upskilling priorities after digital skills, the recruitment agency pointed out.
- 67% of respondents in Singapore indicated that increased learning and development opportunities would be a major indicator of an organisation’s future-readiness.
- A further 88% said upskilling was important/very important to them, with technical skills development (67%) and leadership training (65%) being priority areas pre-pandemic.
- Following the outbreak, however, the majority of respondents said ‘digital skills development’ (84%), reskilling (80%), e-learning (72%) and training in remote leadership (71%) and orientation (68%) was most important to them.
While reskilling is a topic that has seen a resurgence since the pandemic and is in line with the recent spike in Singapore’s unemployment rates, it may also be indicative of a larger trend — in line with the rise in hiring of temporary or contracting workers, increased job-hopping and the gig economy — that have made hiring for a cluster of skills more effective than textbook hires, Hays said.
Employers must bridge the skills gap
In addition, Singapore implemented extended lockdown measures as compared to the rest of Asia, which along with the proliferation of remote working, has exacerbated the need for remote orientation and remote leadership training, Hays pointed out.
E-learning is also a fast-growing space, with schools in the city now looking at incorporating this into their curriculums, the firm said.
While e-learning is increasingly seen as a quick and easy way to upskill and stay competitive in the market for employees, the number of employers who offer training in digital skills (29%), reskilling (18%), remote orientation training (32%) and remote leadership training (13%) remains low, with the exception of e-learning (47%), Hays noted.
Reskilling and upskilling has become an urgent need for employees in Singapore, if they are to stay competitive and relevant in a recession and pandemic-hit world of work, said Grant Torrens, Regional Director for Hays Singapore.
A workplace of the future will and should be hiring based on clusters of skills rather than a traditional on-paper perfect fit, as well as encouraging reskilling as a whole, he advised.
“They could begin doing this by encouraging internal rotations, helping fund skills development programs for employees or simply staying open minded to hiring individuals who have undergone career conversions or been part of the gig-economy,” Torrens noted.
Providing opportunities for reskilling can also build utility and security for employees, contributing to their over wellbeing – which, Hays’s research shows, helps also helps them find purpose and meaning in their work, he added.