Daily Briefing: Singapore firms are not investing enough in employee training; Urban planners revive Singapore's 50ha in unused spaces

And boutique investment bank W Capital Markets is on a hiring spree.

From Channel News Asia:

Firms in Singapore are not investing enough into employee training with only 12% having done so in 2018, according to the Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) latest national business survey which polled more than 700 firms across all major industries in the country.

Over the last year, manpower challenges remained a bugbear for companies, with rising labour costs named as the top challenge by half of those surveyed.

Amidst a push for innovation, finding workers with the relevant technology expertise was also a concern for 41% of companies, whilst 29%were worried about retraining their employees in digital capabilities.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are less inclined to invest in training, according to SBF’s chief executive Ho Meng Kit, possibly due to lower profit expectations amongst SME business owners.

Read more here.

From Reuters:

Urban planners and authorities continue to pour in their efforts to bring life to Singapore’s 50 ha of unused land under flyovers, bridges and viaducts, or so-called dead spaces, to create much-needed public areas.

The spaces, measuring 3,000-6,000 sqm each, have been converted into sports facilities, urban farms, and even used for markets and birthday parties, according to a report published last year by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

“Whilst land is scarce in Singapore, we do have a good number of sites under viaducts and flyovers,” Tan Boon Khai, SLA’s chief executive, said in the report.

“Activating these sterile spaces at a low cost can encourage entrepreneurs and planners to test out new and unconventional ideas,” he added.

Read more here.

From eFinancial Careers:

Boutique investment bank W Capital Markets which provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A), pre-initial public offering (IPO) and other corporate services to mid-cap companies in Asia welcomed veteran DBS investment banker Koh Boon Pin as its partner and head of IPO.

W Capital has been on somewhat of a hiring spree of late. In August last 2018, CEO Lee took on ex-Tata colleague Foo Say Nam as head of advisory. Four months later another former Tata employee, Tsai Xinyi, came on board as VP of corporate finance. The boutique also appointed Julian Dermawan, formerly of business outsourcing firm First Names Group, as head of compliance earlier this month.

Koh, W Capital’s latest senior hire, has moved firms before Chinese New Year, traditionally a quiet time for front-office recruitment in Singapore because most banks have not yet paid their bonuses. Boutiques and buy-side firms, however, do sometimes people from large banks in December/January in an effort to avoid the more competitive post-bonus period.

Read more here.

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