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Emerging industries need both hard and soft skills: Iswaran

Published on Aug 28, 2014 6:59 PM
Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Ministers' Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Home Affairs, gives his keynote address at the MIT Economic Dialogue 2014@NUS, on 28 Aug, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - While technical skills are still essential in the job market, employers increasingly require their workers to have softer skills like a positive work attitude and the ability to solve problems innovatively.

Technological change and the emergence of new industries are altering the relative importance of "hard" and "soft" skills, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran on Thursday.

Speaking at a a dialogue about Singapore's economy organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the minister cited as an example a Google advertisement for a data scientist position, which called for "someone who can do more than just crunch numbers, but is also able to work in diverse teams and mentor people".

A good blend of both types of skills will help Singaporeans take on jobs in up and coming industries, the minister said.

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