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Study: Only 64% of SG workers confident in skills they have for career advancement

Study: Only 64% of SG workers confident in skills they have for career advancement

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Only 64% of Singapore workers believe that they have the skills to advance in their careers. Compared to the APAC region, workers in China (81%) and India (81%) have the highest confidence in their skills for career advancement, followed by Australia (66%). Singapore takes the last spot.

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In terms of skill sets, Singapore workers generally value strategic communication skills over technical skills. Based on the People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View report by ADP Research Institute, management skills (41%) and people skills (38%) were deemed to be most important, followed by data analysis skills (34%).

This finding is surprising against a report by CNBC that indicates that Singapore workers are quick to adopt new skills, especially those related to artificial intelligence.

According to the report, Singapore has the highest “diffusion rate”, which is the share of LinkedIn members adding AI skills to their profiles. This number grew 20 times from January 2016.To put this figure in context, the global average is eight times.

In light of the growing adoption of AI-related skills among Singapore workers, the report stressed the importance of human soft skills such as analytical judgement, flexibility, and emotional intelligence.

Rather than threatening to oust workers from their roles, AI and tech are tools that can fulfil administrative functions, freeing up human workers to focus on the more important parts of their jobs.

For example, teachers can leave lesson planning and curriculum development to generative AI while they focus on areas such as classroom management and special education. Ultimately, human judgement is still necessary to complement workers’ AI skills.

Similarly, a majority of business leaders in Hong Kong see AI as a tool to empower employees, anticipating that AI will form part of employees’ core competencies in the AI era.

Yvonne Teo, vice president of HR APAC, ADP, points towards talent investment by employers to explain the contradicting findings. “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,” she said.

Based on the People at Work report, only 56% of Singapore workers believe that their companies invest in skills for them to advance in their careers, unlike APAC’s 74% average.

Teo adds, “It is important for companies to build a culture and environment where employees feel empowered and supported about advancing their career.”

This would involve efforts like open communication, recognition of achievements, regular performance feedback, and development opportunities.

Inclusivity and diversity are also important tenets that assure employees that their contributions will be recognised regardless of background.

Such efforts help to attract and retain talent, which are crucial to a business’s productivity. Employers that build a supportive culture are better positioned to drive business success in a complex workplace environment.

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Related articles:

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Survey: Majority of business leaders in HK embrace AI as tool to empower employees
HKGCC: Companies in HK losing more mid-level employees, turnover rates reach 20%

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