The case for reskilling (and how to do it on a budget) – Workforce Trends for 2021

GeneralJanuary 13, 2021 03:03

Written by Max Loong

2020 has been a disruptive year for businesses, where we see organisations scrambling to ensure business continuity on downtimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A global poll done by Twilio, a cloud communications platform, shown 70% of senior management believes that the COVID-19 crisis has forced their business to move much quicker in adopting online tools in their operations.

These sudden adoption of online tools and digital technologies has given organisations a good view of possible skill gaps in their teams. Organisations need to evolve to survive and build workforce capabilities required to venture into greener pastures. Consulting firm Mercer mentioned that “Globally, reskilling is seen as the top talent activity most capable of delivering a Return of Investment (ROI) in the eyes of executives.”

Reskilling trends – Employer vs Employee perspectives

Perspectives towards Reskilling

Generally, employers and employees are receptive towards that reskilling, and acknowledge that trainings will help to build resilience in the long run.

A study done by training institute, NTUC Learning Hub shown indicated that 36% of employers are adopting a long-term approach to keep their businesses going by training their workforce or rotating employees within their company. While majority of businesses (60%) are making use of the downtime to train their workforce.

Individuals are also increasingly taking a proactive approach to upskill and reskill. In a study done by United Overseas Bank (UOB), 9 in 10 Singapore workers see an urgent need to reskill and upskill to stay relevant in an uncertain job market.


Top 3 in skills in demand by Employers

Soft Skills: Adaptability and Resilience, Teamwork and Collaboration, Innovation

Tangible skills: Digital Marketing, Project Management Skills, Data Analysis


Top 3 in skills in demand by Individuals

Soft Skills: Innovation, Complex Problem Solving, Interpersonal Skills

Tangible skills: Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, Digital Marketing & E-commerce, Project Management - Agile & Scrum


Options to reskill on a budget – Employers & Individuals

What are the options available now? Thankfully with remote training options available, upskilling and reskilling does not necessarily require you to be confined in a physical setting for hours. While the support from the Singapore government are available, in the form of training subsidies and grants. With these initiatives present, training can also be budget friendly for businesses and individuals as well.

SkillsFuture is a national movement that provides opportunities for all Singaporeans to develop to their fullest potential at different stages of their lives. Under this movement, Employers can send Singaporean employees for trainings at a subsidised rate. While for Singaporean individuals, a certain amount of credit (from SGD500 – 1,000) is credited into their SkillsFuture account to be used for training courses at approved institutions.

Alternatively, there are some popular training websites offers cheap (or even free) online learning courses to in demand skills:

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