SINGAPORE – The skills Singaporeans need most have been identified in a new report from SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).
The first report on the demand for skills for the future economy was launched by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday, December 8. It identifies the 20 main centers of expertise in the digital, ecological and healthcare sectors most needed within one to three years.
Mr. Chan launched the report at the Skills Demand For The Future Economy Forum, where he gave an opening speech.
He said the report does not cover the entire economy, but highlights employment and skills trends across all three sectors, calling them “key growth areas” for the country.
The skills highlighted are those required by the greatest number of jobs in the sectors, he added.
The report presents the 20 most important skill clusters in the three sectors, which it calls “priority skills”.
In the digital sector, the top three are technology applications, data analysis and market research.
In the green sector, it is about the design of green processes, the management of the carbon footprint and the environmental management system.
In the care sector, these are conduct and ethics, stakeholder management and inclusive practices.
The report then breaks down the sectors into sub-sections and highlights the priority skills within them.
For example, for the digital sector, the report indicates the priority skills for technology and technology-intensive jobs, as well as those for digital jobs and skills in financial and retail services.
It also features personal stories of people who have changed careers or industries, as well as the perspectives of CEOs Wong Kim Yin of Sembcorp Industries and Chin Wei Jia of HMI Group, other business leaders and educators.
Educators interviewed by the Straits Times said Singaporeans should focus not only on building industry-specific skills, but also on the soft skills that the report highlights.
Dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Design and Environment Lam Khee Poh told ST: “It is important to work on the core skills that the report identifies as critical thinking and creative, because more than specific technical skills, they are the ones that help you learn and adapt. Specific technical skills may come after.
The report identifies 16 soft skills that it calls “critical core skills”, organized into three clusters: think critically, interact with others and stay relevant.
NUS (Lifelong Learning) vice-provost Prof Susanna Leong told ST workers and employers should use the report as a roadmap to navigate the three key growth areas.
She said: “With the information made available in the report, learners could find out how to map their learning paths to acquire the skills required for the positions by referring to the SSG competency frameworks.
“This forms a systematic roadmap for learners to determine their choice of study based on their aspirations, or for mid-career people to move into new professional roles.”
The report also contains a section on Skills Development Mapping, which guides readers on where to find the right courses, listing institutions and their course offerings.
Mr. Chan added that SSG will complete the report in the future.
He said: “The report is only the first step we are taking, to communicate and share more information on skills with the public.
“SSG will update the report annually and strive to complement it with other shorter and faster sharing channels.”