Despite more than half of employers (52%) reporting insufficient employees with the right skill sets to achieve current business goals, not enough is being done to upskill or reskill employees.
Only one third of employees (32%) agree or strongly agree that their company provide them with the right training opportunities to enhance work performance, and almost half (47%) are not confident that their current job will be able to support them in their career growth.
These are some key findings from NTUC LearningHub’s (NTUC LHUB) The New Normal of Sector Skills report. The report gathered perspectives of 367 business leaders (senior managers or directors and above) and 567 full-time employees working in Singapore with the aim to assess the adequacy of training and employment opportunities for employees across six major industry clusters.
In response to the lack of training opportunities to enhance work performance, only one in four employees (27%) agree that their potential is maximised at their workplace, and a large majority of employees (71%) wish that their company provided more support to help with the upgrading of skills.
Additionally, according to employees the ‘lack of initiative from a company’ is one of the top reasons that they do not upskill (34%). The other reasons include lack of time for training (55%), unsure of the skills to upgrade in (42%), unsure of the types of training resources (36%), as well as not knowing where to begin (33%).
On the other hand, while majority of employers (84%) indicate that it was necessary for the employees to learn new skills due to changes brought about by COVID-19 to the business, only 65% say they have been training their employees since the pandemic hit.
Commenting on the findings, NTUC LHUB’s Chairman, Eugene Wong says, “The pandemic has made the upskilling imperative more pressing hence providing the right training opportunities for employees would strengthen companies’ competitiveness in the face of future disruptions.
“Companies must transform through new business models but in order to make strides, their employees must be equipped with the relevant skill sets to deliver their new roles and responsibilities.
“Employers must act now to elevate their workforce competencies so that they will be well-poised to persevere and prosper in the New Normal.”
In addition, NTUC LHUB’s Director Institute Of Business Excellence And Healthcare Academy, Jenaline Low adds, “For those who are looking to jumpstart the upskilling of their workforce, it is key to invest in learning and development capabilities to assess and align the workforce skills requirement to the organisation’s strategic business goals.
“Using a Design Thinking approach to identify skills gaps will help decision-makers succinctly identify areas for skills upgrading and discover employees’ strengths to optimise their full potential.
“To add, we urge companies to leverage training support and subsidies available to them such as the Enhanced Training Support Package and Enhanced Absentee Payroll, which are helpful to defray the training investment cost with course fee and absentee payroll subsidies.”