SINGAPORE: The Republic faces challenges in growing its vocational and global leadership talent to meet the needs of the medium- and high-skilled sectors of the economy, said authors of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index on Wednesday (Jan 28).
The index, produced by business school INSEAD, ranked Singapore second in the world after Switzerland in terms of ability to compete for talent. It covered about 90 economies – taking into account factors such as business landscape, openness and access to growth opportunities.
Singapore is walking on a tightrope in controlling the flow of foreign manpower. It has been ranked first in Asia Pacific in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index report – showing its prowess in attracting talent. But the authors of the report said that does not mean it will be first forever.
Said Mr Bruno Lanvin, executive director of INSEAD Global Indices: “It is quite interesting to see what will happen in terms of this, ‘careful management’ of what immigration and foreign workers can bring to the economy. There is a very delicate balance to be struck here, because it is not just an economic equation, it is also a social, political equation.”
Another part of the talent equation is equipping people with the right skills. The report’s authors said vocational education is a challenge for fast-growing Asia, with talent development being more than just about attending a top-tier university.
In a technology-driven age, the authors noted that lifelong learning is becoming more important, as people constantly change jobs. They said formal education, while important, should be complemented by learning from experience to promote talent growth.
While Singapore ranks highly in the index, the authors said it can learn from Scandinavia in the area of adult development. When it comes to talent development strategies, they added the focus should be on the concept of employable skills to meet business needs.
This is a point employers have picked up on.
Ms Margrit Reck, region human resource manager at power and automation technologies company ABB, said: “The vocational learning is especially important to bridge, to have, to reach out to all the talent we have in the market. Because it is the collaboration between the schools and it is the collaboration between business. So it gives people hands-on experience. It helps people get ready to enter the market.”
news source & image credits: channelnewsasia.com