June 23, 2022

Three solutions for filling skills gaps in Singapore today

Our 2022 Executive Survey reveals that skills gaps are a challenge for Singaporean leaders today. Learn more about the skills gap issues at hand and what you can do to solve them.

What is one thing your workforce is missing? Like many employers in Singapore, it may be that your employees are lacking critical skills needed for your organisation to stay competitive today and into the future.

According to Ceridian’s 2022 Executive Survey of leaders from around the globe, these skills gaps are so common that only 1% of Singaporean respondents said that their organisations don’t have any.

Our Executive Survey findings also show that leaders feel responsible for filling these skills gaps. When asked who is responsible for employee skill development, 76% of Singaporean respondents said that employers should have all or part of the responsibility.

The good news for employers facing a skills gap challenge is that employees are eager to update and upgrade their skills. A 2021 study from PwC found that 77% of workers are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain.

With employers and employees alike aligned in wanting to eliminate skills gaps, let’s look at how organisations in Singapore can turn those intentions into actions.

Start with technology

Among Executive Survey respondents in Singapore, just over half (56%) said that their organisations are investing in technology to help identify and track skills gaps. These technologies are critical in resolving this challenge by enabling skills gap analysis. After all, employers must understand the nature and extent of skills gaps before they can attempt to resolve them.

With this skills gap analysis in hand, employers can then build a strategy for ensuring their workforce has the skills needed to meet customer needs and remain competitive today. But the need for technology related to skills gaps doesn’t end there.

Organisations will also benefit from having learning management software to facilitate skills development. The Executive Survey data shows that adoption of technology to deliver training effectively is already fairly widespread among Singaporean respondents, at 65%.

While this is encouraging, employers must ensure that technology is used once implemented. In Ceridian’s 2022 Pulse of Talent survey, only 46% of employee respondents in Singapore said that their employers offer skills development training, indicating a discrepancy between companies having a technology and using it. Organisations can help combat this and support internal talent development by ensuring their learning system is easy to use and accessible for all employees.

Create strategies for existing employees

Filling skills gaps will almost always involve existing employees, but that doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Employers can adopt a variety of tactics to ensure their existing workforce has the right mix of skills.

The important part is for organisations to develop thoughtful strategies for how to fill skills gaps among their existing employees. They should also revisit these strategies regularly to ensure they aren’t stagnant. As the world continues to change, so too will the skills needed to compete in it.

Our 2022 Executive Survey findings show that organisations in Singapore today are taking a few different approaches to resolve skills gaps with current employees. Sixty-one percent of Singaporean respondents say their organisations are creating internal training programs for employees to fill skills gaps, and the same number say they are moving employees with key skills to higher-impact roles.

Subsidising external training programs is one underutilised skills gap solution revealed by the Executive Survey. Only 39% of the Singapore leaders that we surveyed said their organisations are going this route. This could be a missed opportunity. Outside expertise in the form of training programs, particularly for more specialised skills, may be required.

Rethink talent acquisition

In the employers’ quest to end skills gaps, talent acquisition has an important role to play. But much like with an existing workforce, there must be a data-driven strategy in place.

Only half (51%) of our Executive Survey respondents in Singapore said that their organisations are bolstering their talent acquisition efforts in response to skills gaps. And only 51% said they are hiring gig workers/contractors to fill skills gaps.

While employers may prefer to fill these gaps with existing employees, as we see in this year’s Executive Survey results, this approach is not always feasible. There may be skills that your workers aren’t interested in learning or the need for a specific skill might require additional headcount.

By understanding and focusing on these needed skills, employers can pivot their talent acquisition approach – whether for full-time or contract workers – to ensure their hiring is aligned.

As the demand for more advanced and specialised skills grows, Singaporean employers can’t rely on just one solution to fill skills gaps. A multi-pronged approach that incorporates technology, upskilling and reskilling employees, and new talent will be needed to take your workforce into the future.

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Team Ceridian

Our experts provide timely, essential insights and analysis for HCM leaders. We share fresh strategies and practical tips for businesses of all sizes, thoughts on hot topics and industry trends, and the latest legislative updates.

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