Randstad today released the regional results from the Randstad Workmonitor 2020 1H survey that studied the local workforce’s appetite for upskilling and entrepreneurship.In Hong Kong, 43 percent would rather take the risks of starting their own business than reskilling in a new field. In Singapore, 41 percent are considering leaving their current jobs to start their own business. In Malaysia, 49 percent of the surveyed employees share the same thought.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director, Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad said, “COVID-19 has spurred a “rush to innovate” among businesses. Start-ups remain agile enough to offer solutions that fill urgent gaps, accelerate our growth and enable Singapore to become more sustainable."
“As new innovations can stimulate new ventures, many people who were already considering entrepreneurship may feel even more motivated now to take on this opportunity, particularly in fields where investments and demands are growing,” she added.
With the thought that entrepreneurship would open them up to more opportunities the only way to retain and attract the young workforce for businesses in these SEA nations is investing in learning and career development. The young workforce are looking for exciting opportunities, need to secure their jobs from automation, and aspire to become more ready to face the future of work.
Create a learning environment to attract and retain young employees
Randstad’s latest Workmonitor survey revealed that 49 percent of Hongkongers believe that their employers will re-skill and find them another position within the company if their job becomes redundant due to automation. This is in contrast to 81 percent of respondents in mainland China feeling so.
Furthermore, 59 percent of locally-based respondents felt that the training and re-skilling programmes provided by their employers do not adequately equip them with the skills that they will need in the future. 73 percent of respondents in mainland China share this same sentiment.
While in Singapore, 56 percent of respondents feel that their employers would support them in re-skilling and finding alternative arrangements within the company if their jobs become redundant due to automation. Despite the trust in their employers, 64 percent of respondents feel that current training programmes are insufficient to regain long- term employment.
Dass shared, “Employees and candidates are already feeling the immense pressure to develop new capabilities. There has never been a more urgent need to equip the workforce with digital skills in an effort to close the widening gap. Companies need to provide more dynamic and robust training programmes that can help their workforce gain new skills that will allow them to be more agile, creative and productive.”
87 percent of respondents in Malaysia are willing to be re- trained to ensure their employability. This sentiment is highest among more Generation-X workers, with 92 percent of respondents aged from 35 to 44 years old feeling so.
Natellie Sun, Managing Director in Search and Selection, Greater China at Randstad said, “When employees feel that they lack relevant skills to ensure their employability, it can impact their confidence levels in pushing boundaries. Employers who create learning and development and progression opportunities for their staff are seen as attractive employers.”
Business and HR leaders can create this learning environment by offering job rotation programs, having a more flexible job description, or giving their employees the opportunity to pilot new projects. Companies that invest in staff development will have the competitive edge of having a highly agile, flexible and skilled workforce.