There's a gap between what employers in Singapore are doing about upskilling, and what employees wish they'd actually do. Newly released research by marketing software firm HubSpot has found that lack of time and financial support are the biggest barriers preventing workers in Singapore from upskilling and job-related learning, with 65% of those surveyed saying employers aren't giving them enough time for learning and 59% saying employers aren't giving them enough financial support. Furthermore, the younger someone is, the more likely they are to say they have insufficient time for learning.
This challenge stands out all the more because 60% of workers also say that their employer does, in fact, give them time to learn during work hours and incentives including time off to upskill. In other words, employers aren't neglecting their workers' learning needs - they are actually providing support - but they aren't providing enough of the needed support.
The survey findings also show that 81% of workers also wish their employer would place more importance on their learning and upskilling, which suggests that these workers feel the current initiatives to encourage learning aren't serious enough. That said, the level of demand for skilling may be peculiar to Singapore, which among Southeast Asian countries has the highest proportion of people ready for retraining.
The gap between employer actions and employee expectations is going to make things harder in an already-tight labour market, though. 74% of workers said that they would prioritise employers that offer upskilling and learning opportunities, and with younger workers being the most time-strapped group, this indicates that companies will very likely run into challenges attracting and retaining young talent.
“We know people would ideally like to be constantly learning and upskilling but struggle to find the time to dedicate to it outside of work hours," commented Kat Warboys, APAC Marketing Director at HubSpot. “Providing our teams with the time and space to dedicate to learning is vital — not just to the individual who values upskilling to grow and feel engaged at work but to future-proof businesses too."