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More than 40% of Singapore workers quit job due to lack of skills training: Survey

SINGAPORE — More than two in five employees in Singapore have left a company because they felt that it did not provide enough learning and development (L&D) opportunities. And this was mainly because the workers did not have time to do so.

A survey found that the most significant challenge for employees to take up learning and development was the lack of time, with more than half of the respondents in Singapore giving this as a reason.

A survey found that the most significant challenge for employees to take up learning and development was the lack of time, with more than half of the respondents in Singapore giving this as a reason.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — More than two in five employees in Singapore have left a company because they felt that it did not provide enough learning and development (L&D) opportunities. And this was mainly because the workers did not have time to take up these opportunities.

There is also a huge mismatch between what is offered by employers and what employees want, with only 17 per cent of employees in Singapore satisfied with their company’s L&D programmes.

These are the findings from a report published on Wednesday (June 19) by job networking site LinkedIn.

The survey was done with respondents from the Asia Pacific, namely Australia, India, Japan and Singapore.

In Singapore, it polled more than 1,000 employees and more than 200 L&D professionals, who are company employees who set L&D strategies, such as those in human resources.

The percentage of employees in India who left a company because of a lack of L&D opportunities (45 per cent) were comparable to Singapore, but it was lower for those working in Australia (29 per cent) and Japan (16 per cent).

The survey findings come after the Singapore Government has been trying for years to encourage workers to upskill or go for retraining and for companies to offer such courses.

The launch of the SkillsFuture initiative, the setting up of the Workforce Skills Qualification national credentialing system and the Professional Conversion Programme by statutory board Workforce Singapore are but some of the efforts to steer Singaporean companies and workers in this direction.

BARRIERS TO LEARNING

The survey found that the most significant challenge for employees to take up learning was the lack of time:

  • Singapore (57 per cent said so)

  • Australia (60 per cent)

  • India (60 per cent)

  • Japan (53 per cent)

Other barriers mentioned by Singapore-based respondents included:

  • Cost (37 per cent)

  • Accessibility (45 per cent)

  • Resources (31 per cent)

  • Interest (30 per cent)

As for the companies, the most significant barrier they find in delivering L&D programmes is their ability to engage employees:

  • Singapore (48 per cent said so)

  • Australia (39 per cent)

  • India (46 per cent)

  • Japan (30 per cent)

Other challenges faced by Singapore-based companies when implementing L&D programmes included:

  • Improving learning effectiveness (38 per cent)

  • Adapting training to younger generations (41 per cent)

  • Delivering consistent training (28 per cent)

  • Demonstrating value to leadership (33 per cent)

  • Organisational change (29 per cent)

  • Quantifying return on investment (27 per cent)

PACE OF CHANGE

Some employees found that the pace of change was rapid in terms of acquiring needed skills:

  • Singapore (76 per cent)

  • Australia (53 per cent)

  • India (82 per cent)

  • Japan (46 per cent)

There were differences among countries in terms of how daunted respondents felt about the pace of change:

  • Singapore (65 per cent)

  • Australia (39 per cent)

  • India (62 per cent)

  • Japan (55 per cent)

VALUED SKILLS

The study found that Asia-Pacific economies will face a labour shortage of 12.3 million workers by 2020, which will come at an opportunity cost of US$4.2 trillion (S$5.75 trillion).

The manpower crunch may be made worse as the region exports more talent than it imports. A 2017 LinkedIn report on digital workforce stated that much of the talent went to the United States.

Skills that have been increasingly adopted by professionals and valued by organisations include:

  • Robotic process automation

  • Work-flow automation

  • Gesture recognition technology

  • Blockchain

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Front-end web development

Some non-technical skills also made the list:

  • Social media marketing

  • Compliance

  • Human-centred design

SOFT SKILLS

The rise of AI, automation and robotics has not just driven demand for technical skills, but soft skills as well, the LinkedIn report said. These include analytical thinking, active learning and creativity.

More than half of the employee respondents for the entire survey said that soft skills are more important for career progression. Country by country, it was as follows:

  • Singapore (62 per cent)

  • Australia (52 per cent)

  • India (60 per cent)

  • Japan (63 per cent)

A significantly lesser proportion, or 54 per cent, of L&D professionals in Singapore saw soft skills as more important.

Among the various soft skills, critical thinking emerged as a top area of need among countries surveyed, especially in Singapore.

Related topics

learning and development employees workers skills training

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