SNEF and MOM launch guide for Singapore employers to engage older workers in career and skills development


Called Structured Career Planning (SCP), the guide aims to improve long-term employee productivity to maximize their added value to the company.

Singapore employers can use the new Structured Career Planning (SCP) guide from the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to implement a formal structured career planning process to proactively engage older employees in their organizations on career and skills development.

At the same time, employers can use it to examine current and future capability needs, while supporting the employee’s work, wealth, and well-being goals.

For context, the guide was launched in a hybrid event on July 13, 2022 (Wednesday), honored by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for Manpower, Heng Chee How, Deputy General Secretary, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)and John Ng, Vice President, SNEF. At the event, it was mentioned that the expected outcome of SCP is “to improve long-term employee productivity to optimize their added value to the business.”

What is SCP about?

Essentially, SCP is packed with comprehensive, lightweight implementation frameworks and toolkits (who, what, when, where, how) that employers can use based on available manpower and resources. Beyond that, the guide also includes individual career assessment exercises, sample HR policies and case studies available for reference.

In reviewing the full implementation framework, employers can expect to receive the following seven recommendations:

  1. Obtain management buy-in and support;
  2. Implement relevant HR policies for retirement and re-employment;
  3. Implement relevant HR policies for staff development;
  4. Train HR and line managers for the SCP program;
  5. Communicate the intent of SCP enterprise-wide;
  6. Conduct the SCP program, and
  7. Regularly evaluate and improve the SCP program.

It should be noted that in point 2, employers are encouraged by SNEF to engage employees and unions (if applicable) in re-hiring as soon as possible, at least six months before re-employment or extension of re-employment. On that note, the aforementioned seven recommendations should then be assessed against four key milestones (listed below).

As for the lite version, it includes four recommendations which are points #1, #4, #6 and #7 of the full version (mentioned above). The lite version also has similar milestones (shown below) – the only difference being in the first area (implementation period), “55 until retirement age”.

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Why is the SCP necessary?

In SNEF’s statement, he shared that the Tripartite Working Group on Older Workers has found that older workers are more likely to look to their employers to signal training to be undertaken.

Many believed that employers were “in a better position” to determine their demand for skills; as such, they should guide older workers on the training they need for career development and re-employment. However, some employers may not have a systematic approach or know how to go about having meaningful career conversations with their older workers.

DSG Heng, on that note, said, “It is not uncommon to hear employers worry about the difficulty in finding the right workforce. If we can’t respond well, businesses and older workers will lose out. On the other hand, if we succeed in gathering needs and proactively structuring skills upgrades, job redesign, career progression and worker adaptation to prepare workers for new demands even as they age, we minimize travel and maximize the potential of our Singaporean workforce. »

He considers SCP to be “a commendable effort in this direction”.

VP Ng also shared his feelings on SCP. He explained that starting early to plan the next phase of older employees’ careers would bring several benefits to employers, especially when jobs and skill requirements are constantly changing due to digitalization and transformation. companies.

He noted, for starters, that older employees would be better prepared to take on new or adapted roles if they wanted to be rehired. On the other hand, with an aging workforce, Vice President Ng felt that employers could continue to rely on their older employees to meet their labor demand to support the growth of the company. And on top of that, employers could cultivate a culture of lifelong learning in the workplace by regularly engaging employees in career and skills development.

“I strongly encourage employers to implement structured career planning to help their older employees achieve productive longevity so that the longevity of their workforce is also productive for them,” added the vice-president. President Ng.

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Pictures / SNEF

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