Adam Solomons shares his thoughts on the importance of retraining.

20 March 2017

A quick glance at a LinkedIn newsfeed and you will see that the job market in Singapore has become a challenging place for candidates to navigate – increasing unemployment rates, large scale retrenchment in some industries and now the threat (or perhaps reality) of jobs being replaced by robots. We foresee that the future of employment in some sectors will hold more obstacles for us to overcome, but what part can employers play to minimise these problems?
 
There is plenty to be positive about. Our clients are busier than ever and more innovative in their approach to hiring high potential talent. During the recent Singapore Budget 2017, Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower at Committee of Supply 2017 emphasised the need for workplace adaptability. He suggested that helping people adapt to change, take on better jobs and build new careers are essential to ensure that working professionals remain relevant in their respective industries.

As businesses adapt to the digital world and transform themselves, old jobs will be destroyed, new jobs will be created and existing jobs will be re-invented. Recognising the risk of losing jobs to automation or offshoring, the government has come up with a plethora of initiatives that will help employees maintain relevancy in the workforce. 

For example, the Adapt and Grow initiative was introduced last year to help workers adapt to structural shifts in the economy with wage and training support. SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative was also introduced to support companies to groom Singaporean leaders by expanding leadership development programmes, and Singaporean citizens are provided with SkillsFuture credits that they can use to upgrade themselves with modular courses in various educational institutes. However, employers must also play a part in helping their employees remain relevant in the workforce. 

Here at Hydrogen, we believe that a structured re-skilling programme is an excellent but underutilized hiring method. Not only is the elusive 100% fit candidate rare but there is a highly motivated workforce in Singapore with transferable skill sets who, with a little investment could answer your hiring problem, transform your business and increase your retention.

Over the next few months, we will be talking more about our views on life-long learning and re-skilling as a hiring strategy. We will also be hearing the thoughts of our clients and candidates. In the hope of playing a part to increase the employability of a workforce with high potential, we encourage other business strategists to rethink their hiring policies. 

We would welcome your thoughts.