HR & EDUCATION | Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, Singapore

Work now, play later: 4 in 5 Singapore millennials ditch leisure for skill-building opportunities

One in two believes what they learn in school is not enough for their future.

If the new survey by Glints - JOS is anything to go by, then Singapore millennials are seeing learnings from schools inadequate for their future.

According to the study, more than half of the 1,000 respondents believe that what they are learning in school is not enough for them to land jobs after graduation. Consequently, 78% of them have actively searched outside of school for opportunities like competitions, internships, and projects to gain skills for their future jobs. Further, 82% of the youths are even willing to sacrifice personal leisure time and social time to participate in these opportunities.

Christian Paolo Garaga, a second-year electronics and computer engineering student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, shared that he would sacrifice study time to grab on opportunities such as the JOS Innovation Awards, a competition for polytechnic and university students to brainstorm ideas through using technology to solve modern problems.

“I would sacrifice my study time for such opportunities. With the changing landscape of the workforce, getting these skills are more important than just learning through the books. Skills taught outside of school is more valuable these days,” Garaga stated.

Glints COO Looi Qin En commented on the results of the survey and said, “Times have changed and relying on the school alone for career preparation is no longer enough. We are seeing an increasing number of youths who proactively pursue opportunities outside of their schools to prepare themselves for their careers. Being industry ready is not just about resume and interview preparation workshops, but having real experiences through internships, competitions and projects. This is the new norm.”

With this, Looi noted that many companies are changing the way they recruit young talents by offering more skills development opportunities to engage millennials.

“We are seeing a shift of mindset from traditional companies who used to hire graduates directly. These companies are beginning to create opportunities for students to develop and showcase their skills, while using these opportunities as avenues for talent attraction and employer branding,” he said.

As such, JOS group human resources senior manager Carmen Chan noted that they organised the inaugural JOS Innovation Awards in Singapore, a competition for polytechnic and university students with the aim of using technology in coming up with ideas to solve modern-day problems. 

“We received an overwhelming response from the polytechnic and university population. Initially setting an ambitious target of receiving 50 submissions, we ended up receiving over 80 submissions with representation from all 5 polytechnics, all 5 public universities, and various private tertiary institutions,” Chan shared. 

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