, Singapore

Nearly 9 in 10 employees look to upskill or re-skill

Over half of these respondents aim to improve their digital skills.

About 86% of local employees stated that they have the intention to upskill or re-skill in the next 12 months, a Randstad survey revealed.

Of these respondents, 55% said that they are doing so to be prepared for how automation and digitisation will affect their future, whilst 19% are looking to change their career or industry that they work in. Further, 16% mentioned that they’re doing so out of fear of losing their job due to redundancy.

“People tend to expect and plan for the worst-case scenario, especially since we are starting to learn of the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the economic and labour markets. As such, many employees have demonstrated their interests for re-skilling and upskilling programmes to build a variety of skills and exercise more flexibility in their career development,” said Jaya Dass, managing director for Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad.

In addition, employees have been harbouring greater expectations for their employers to help guide their career development, specifically what type of skills to acquire and how to build their digital capabilities in the ‘new normal’.

The report noted that because of this, employers should strive to meet the employees’ expectations and elevate the quality and readiness of their workforce to prevent a further widening of the skills gap.

As the pandemic caused weaker labour market conditions, the number of unemployed individuals increased and the number of available jobs in the market waned. When asked about their salary expectations in 2020, 58% of respondents said that they are willing to take on jobs with a lower salary.

Dass added that job seekers with prerequisite skills and experience in high demand areas, such as technology and research & development, will be able to command higher salaries when switching employers.

However, individuals whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic are encouraged to keep an open mind, as having a lower salary can still provide a level of income stability during such trying times.

“New graduates and mid-career switchers looking to enter a new industry or start a career that is unrelated to their past accumulated work experience should also adjust their salary expectations to make up for the lack of required skills and experience to meet job expectations, in line with the increasing unemployment rate,” Dass added.

“Once they have acquired the skills and experience through robust training programmes offered by their employers and when businesses regain their confidence, they can renegotiate the terms of their employment.” 

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