Data from JobStreet's new Decoding Global Talent report shows that Singaporeans who are 60 and above are the most inclined to retrain and take up new job roles. This is driven by the perceived difficulty of automation, which also indicates that employees in the Media & Information, Arts & Creative, and Service sectors have been the most affected.
According to the report, 63% of the ageing workforce (above 60 years) are enthusiastic to undergo re-training and upskilling programmes for adopting new job roles. In comparison, 58% of youth (21-30 years) is willing to retrain. Although the report does not explore why, one possibility is that young people are more confident in their ability to provide the skills that employers currently seek.
Singapore has the highest number of people who are ready to undertake re-training among Southeast Asian countries. Furthermore, Singaporeans are considerably more open to online training than other countries. The report shows that on-field/office training is the most popular across the globe, but Singapore is the only country that ranks online training second most popular.
One surprising finding is that although digitalisation and automation roles are among the least affected by the pandemic, the majority of employees holding such jobs are up for retraining to take on other job roles. Other professions keen on upskilling and retraining are in the public sector, NPOs, consulting, and legal.
In the aftermath of the pandemic and consequent employability concerns, job training and other upskilling programmes have gained momentum. The enrolled number of professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) under the professional conversion programmes (PCPs) is about 6,270 this year, which is a 41% boost as compared to 2019. In response to the demand - which is in turn fuelled by job losses and employment concerns caused by the pandemic - Singapore has been revising its support for skills training over the last year, adjusting requirements and increasing the amount of funding provided.
Appreciating the willingness to work among an ageing workforce, Chew Siew Mee, Managing Director of JobStreet Singapore said, “With the war for talent set to intensify, mature workers can be steady and reliable sources to fill the talent gap. Therefore, it is critical for employers in Singapore to recognise this and provide them with the upskilling opportunities and integrate them into the workforce.”