In a COVID-19 economy where companies and individuals are compelled to adapt and evolve in a world of disruption, the change in skills required to keep businesses viable is outpacing the talent available. This is evidenced by seven in 10 employers (72%) citing difficulty in filling vacant roles in their companies.
In addition, almost all employers (99%) agree that there is a greater need for employees who can take on hybrid roles, in order to meet their current business objectives. A large majority of employers (71%) also intend to hire candidates with broader skill sets in the future.
To evaluate varying degrees of impact caused by the pandemic on the six major industry clusters, the survey was conducted online in October 2020 with 367 business leaders (senior managers or directors and above) and 567 full-time employees across the Modern Services, Manufacturing, Essential Domestic Services, Lifestyle, Built Environment, and Trade and Connectivity industry clusters.
In the face of a complex business environment where hybrid roles are in demand, 69% of employees say they have to adopt new skills in their daily work, and 71% feel the urgency to upskill and reskill to keep themselves competitive in the job market.
The same sentiments apply to employers, where 84% indicate that it was necessary for employees to learn new skills due to changes brought about by COVID-19 to their businesses.
In general, when employers were asked to select the top three most valuable supplementary skills for employees in a hybrid role, the three skills include ‘Effective Communication’ (57%), ‘Teamwork/ Collaboration’ (57%), and ‘Data Analysis’ (54%).
In terms of industry clusters, employers in ‘Built Environment’ were the most inclined (90%) towards hiring candidates with broader skill sets for hybrid roles. This is followed closely by those in the ‘Trade & Connectivity’, and ‘Manufacturing’ industry clusters, where 89% of employers say the same.
Commenting on the findings, NTUC LHUB’s Chairman, Eugene Wong, says, “In a world where we are in a constant state of change, we cannot remain single-tracked when it comes to our careers. To navigate the new norm and seek out opportunities, it is key to stay informed about the latest jobs and skills in demand, then take action by upskilling for employer-coveted hybrid roles and supplementary skills.”
“As the business environment transforms, there will inevitably be shifts in the skills that are in demand. To future-proof your employability, stay open for multiple career pathways by constantly upskilling or even reskilling to remain ready, relevant and resilient in challenging times.”