Only 7% of Singapore workers turn to formal courses to upgrade skills

A massive 77% of them resort to self-learning.

Most Singapore candidates are driving their own professional development agenda rather than looking to their employer to provide training, according to recruiting firm Hays.

In the latest Hays poll, a massive 77% of Singapore respondents take responsibility for developing their skills using a combination of self-learning and leveraging on-the- job experience.

A further 16% rely on their employer to provide training and development whilst only 7% rely on formal courses to add to their skill set.

Lynne Roeder, managing director of Hays in Singapore, said the poll results are positive but she also has a warning for career-minded candidates about relying solely on informal methods of skills development.

“Unlike past generations, Singapore’s workforce of today is far more proactive in keeping up with the changing demands for specific skills and knowledge related to their job and sector,” said Roeder.

“There is much to be gained from making the most of mentors and stretch goals at work to take your skills to the next level. Online courses also make it that much easier to keep up with the skills and knowledge needed in your sector,” she said.

“My one note of warning about relying on informal learning would be for career-minded candidates to keep up with the formal qualifications trending in their sector. For some job roles, employers require specific tertiary qualifications and even post graduate qualifications so they won’t accept anything less,” added Roeder.

The poll was conducted across five key Asian employment markets with self-learning and on-the-job experience ranking as the preferred method of skills building in all locations.

Mainland Chinese candidates were the most proactive with 78% of respondents reporting using self-learning and on-the-job experience to build skills compared to 77% in Hong Kong, 72% in Japan, and 69% in Malaysia.

Malaysia has the largest proportion of workers relying on their employers to provide training and development at 26% compared to 20% of respondents in Japan, 13% in mainland China, and 11% in Hong Kong, according to the Hays poll.

Using formal courses to build skills was the least used option in all locations apart from Hong Kong (12%) with 9% of candidates in mainland China using this method compared to 8% in Japan, and 5% in Malaysia.

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