HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singaporean workers fear slowing economy will cripple local job market: REACH

They’re clamouring for skills upgrades.

Amid mounting jitters regarding the country’s increasingly sluggish economy, Singaporeans are feeling the need for skills upgrading in order to remain relevant.

According to a report by REACH, its Pre-Budget Feedback Exercise for 2016 revealed that Singaporeans’ biggest worries were the country’s slowing economy as well as its impact on the job market.

Those who gave their feedback (termed contributors) felt that Singapore’s economy is turning sluggish, and wanted to know more about government initiatives to stabilise the economy. They also shared their concerns on whether there would be job security for both the young and old in the future.

Mid-career workers saw that it would be challenging to jump ship to an unrelated sector without the relevant skillsets. They called for measures to aid affected workers cope financially, re-skill, and re-enter the workforce.

“Suggestions include providing Singaporeans with guidance on the types of training courses to take up to improve employability, incentivising companies to embark on ‘place and train’ schemes with funding and support from the Government, and providing short-term financial assistance to help mid-career professionals switch industries,” the report notes.

Others called for more stable employment conditions in the country, especially for those aiming to work beyond retirement age. Those in their late 40s to 50s also were also fretting over income stagnation and the lack of job opportunities available to them.

While contributors were appreciative of the SkillsFuture initiative, they saw the need for further government action to raise awareness and usage of the scheme. Moreover, they highlighted the need to equip the future workforce by moving away from a “textbook based” learning, and towards an education system focused on applied learning. 

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