ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Businesses clamour for lower rents, easier funding access

Lower training costs is also high on the wishlist.

Businesses in Singapore are hoping that Budget 2016 will help them in reducing rental costs, according to the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants' (ISCA) Pre-Budget Survey.

Almost 1 in 7 or 66% of firms wished for lower rents, while easier funding access was sought after by 58% of companies.

Surprisingly, lower training costs came in third, with 47% of companies citing this is a key challenge that needs to be addressed.

Overall, organisations have the strongest wish for Budget 2016 to help them in reducing rental cost, providing access to funding, and reducing training costs. 

“The wish for Budget 2016 to help reduce training costs is an area that warrants further research. The data here shows that organisations have a strong wish to reduce training costs. This aligns with the earlier results where organisations rated the training of employees as the most useful PIC qualifying activity,” said the report.

The report added that the recent policy to provide portable funding to an individual in the form of SkillsFuture credit may not resolve the issue of training cost for businesses. 

This is because employees are more likely to use the SkillsFuture credit on improving their general skills, than on skills specific to their current employer. 

“Organisations could be facing higher training needs as they restructure their processes and use new tools to raise productivity. Consequently, organisations still need to incur substantial training costs for their employees to acquire organisation-specific skills,” the report.

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