Singapore urges employees to upskill in industries facing disruption

January 10, 2023

For mid-career employees, learning new skills has become increasingly important, and upskilling shows employers their willingness to learn.

Mid-career employees in select roles should look at upskilling and reskilling to remain relevant in the workforce and take on new opportunities, a new SkillsFuture Singapore report has revealed.

The Skills Demand for The Future Economy report identified five sectors that are experiencing disruption, namely sales; marketing and customer service; human resource; finance and accounting; and engineering and technology. The report further pointed out that the work content and skills required by these roles are changing as technology adoption increases, business and operating models evolve, and sustainability practices become more prominent.

Adelie Sim, Co-Owner and Executive Director of recruitment firm HRnetGroup, said, “Generally, these employees are significantly more costly to an organisation than someone who is fresh out of school. So the question becomes: Are you able to perform the same role or better than fresh grads?”

Fresh grads can be just as effective, but much cheaper than senior employees as they are more open or exposed to tech developments, such as video-conferencing platforms like Zoom, she explained, reported The Straits Times.

Mid-career transitions involve not only skills but emotions too, emphasised Kendray Lau, a skills future ambassador lead at SkillsFuture Singapore. “There’s a lot of uncertainty and a lack of clarity on what people really want, which results in them feeling confused or paralysed.”

He added that many employees who feel stuck in their jobs are those who are employed in fields they have no interest in, having joined because they wanted job stability, which was a common practice in the past.

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