Only 64% of Singapore workers believe that they have the skills to advance in their careers, reveals the ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View.

In comparison against the APAC region, workers in India (81%) and China (81%) have the highest confidence they have skills for career advancement, followed by Australia (66%) and lastly Singapore.

When it comes to skill sets, Singapore workers generally consider strategic communication skills to be more important than technical skills.

In the same report, management skills (41%) and people skills (38%) were deemed to be most important, followed next by data analysis skills (34%).

Investing in employees

The finding is surprising, given that reports have otherwise indicated that Singapore workers are quick to pick up new skills.

The Singapore government has also been a proponent of lifelong learning through various programmes, such as the SkillsFuture scheme.

Yvonne Teo, Vice President of HR, APAC, ADP, comments, “While the figure may be low, this does not point to Singapore workers being unskilled. Instead, the low confidence level may be due to a perceived lack of talent investment from their employers.”

“In the same People at Work report, we have found that only 56% of Singapore workers believe that their companies invest in skills for them to advance in their careers. This is compared to 74% on average for APAC,” she said.

She added that to tackle the problem of low confidence amongst Singapore workers, it is important for companies to build a culture and environment where employees feel empowered and supported in advancing their careers.

“This will look like an environment where open communication is encouraged; where regular feedback on employees’ performance is provided; where achievements are recognised; and where relevant development and mentorship programmes are provided,” she explained.

“Last but not least, companies must aim to build an inclusive culture with various Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and emphasise diversity as an important value. These BRGs in companies offer exposure to projects and initiatives to broaden one’s skillsets with like-minded employees. This can enhance confidence by ensuring that all employees feel their contributions are recognised regardless of background,” Yvonne concluded.


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