More than just digital skills required: Report

The report from management consultancy Kelly Services released yesterday stated that the service industry accounts for the bulk of the most in-demand jobs, with the accounting, engineering, customer service and healthcare sectors likely to see the st
The report from management consultancy Kelly Services released yesterday stated that the service industry accounts for the bulk of the most in-demand jobs, with the accounting, engineering, customer service and healthcare sectors likely to see the strongest job growth.ST FILE PHOTO

Despite ongoing digital disruption across industries, a report by management consultancy Kelly Services showed Singapore's most in-demand jobs in 2019 require more than just digital skills .

While possessing the relevant technical skills remains crucial, these have to be complemented by softer skills in communication and having an agile approach towards change.

The report released yesterday stated that the service industry accounts for the bulk of the most in-demand jobs, with the accounting, engineering, customer service and healthcare sectors likely to see the strongest job growth.

Kelly Services had analysed job placement data of thousands of professionals in its Singapore database over the past year to produce the report.

"Digital disruption is impacting all facets of Singapore's economy - right down to the workforce," said the firm's managing director Foo See Yang.

"To find success in the digital age, we need a reskilling and upskilling revolution. Those who can reskill and upskill will find better wage and employment opportunities, regardless of level or industry."

Singapore's economy grew by 3.2 per cent last year, down from 3.9 per cent in 2017.

The service industry makes up about 70 per cent of Singapore's economy, according to government figures.

The report noted the accounting sector's goal to create 2,000 jobs by next year under a government road map rolled out last year.

The road map also introduced a Digital Transformation for Accountancy programme, giving small and medium-sized practices funding of up to $30,000 each to adopt technology solutions.

ADAPTING TO CHANGE

To find success in the digital age, we need a reskilling and upskilling revolution. Those who can reskill and upskill will find better wage and employment opportunities, regardless of level or industry.

KELLY SERVICES' MANAGING DIRECTOR FOO SEE YANG

The report emphasised that while traditional administrative and finance functions are increasingly being automated, good communication and analytical skills remain highly valued traits, with the accountant of the future expected to take on more strategic roles.

Financial analyst and account assistant positions are among some of the more in-demand roles within the sector.

For the healthcare sector, the report noted the challenges in recruiting more long-term care workers for Singapore's ageing population but added that innovation remains critical despite the sector's reliance on the human touch.

With medical records expected to be fully digitised in the next three to five years, Kelly Services said patient service associates may find themselves displaced, for example.

Innovation will continue to drive the healthcare sector.

Yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong launched the Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI), which aims to support workers who want to turn their ideas for the public healthcare sector into working prototypes.

The report also tipped pharmaceutical manufacturing as an exciting growth area, drawing attention to a $34 million consortium agreement inked between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and industry players last year.

Laboratory technicians and sales managers for pharmaceutical or medical devices could also be in demand, the report said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2019, with the headline 'More than just digital skills required: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe