“The Ability to Re-skill will be the Most Important Skill of the Future”: Lim Swee Say

May 23, 201712:22 pm791 views

Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say attended the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEMM) in Bad Neuenahr, Germany on 18 and 19 May 2017. The G20 LEMM focused on the theme “Towards an Inclusive Future – Shaping the World of Work.”

The meeting saw delegates discussing on how efforts in areas such as, the promotion of innovation will create job opportunities, boost employment, and contribute to achieving the G20’s common goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

At the Global Summit, Minister Lim made three key interventions in his speech:

(1) Technology is the key driver of future of work

(2) Being adaptable will be the key skill of the future and,

(3) Innovation can strengthen the inclusiveness of the workforce.

Minister Lim also emphasised on the need for tripartite partners to work closely together to strive for better jobs and careers for all. While many jobs of today will be destroyed as a result of technological advancements, so will new job roles be created from advance manufacturing to digital services.

From a policy point of view, faster and more pervasive adoption of technology will create better jobs and better careers for workers globally.

Second, adaptability will be the key attribute of the future of skills. The faster pace of transformation will lead to growing job-skill mismatch in the future economy. This would mean more workers will have to re-skill repeatedly just to remain employable in the same profession, or pursue new and different professions. The most important skill of the future is the ability to re-skill.

See: Skills Shortages Continue to Worry Employers in Singapore in 2017

Third, innovation and inclusiveness can co-exist in the future of workforce; however the two need not be mutually exclusive. This would also mean not to allow technology and innovation to divide the workforce, instead you should use them to improve employment and enhance the employability of all workers.

Such as for example, while telecommuting can make workplaces more family-friendly; robotisation or cobotisation can make jobs easier, safer and smarter for the older workers to work longer.

Intelligent technology on the other hand, can help improve productivity and wages, make work more decent especially for the lower wage workers. With the full alignment and joint efforts of its tripartite partners – unions, employers and government, Singapore is transforming all major sectors covering 80 percent of the economy to sustain growth for businesses and create jobs of the future for its people.

Singaporeans are further inculcating a mindset of lifelong learning and lifelong re-skilling under the nationwide SkillsFuture movement for its people to adapt and grow, to pursue careers of the future.

Lim concluded, “The journey into the future is both challenging and exciting. In short, we are determined to succeed in making our future economy even more innovative, and our future workforce even more inclusive by pursuing the three pillars of jobs of the future, skills of the future and careers of the future in a holistic way.”

Also read: Singapore Employees Do Not Depend on Employers for Training and Skills Development

Feature image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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