Forum: Take proactive approach to skills upgrading

The typical approach to addressing traffic congestion is to increase road carrying capacity, and the default approach to addressing overcrowding on public transport systems appears to be increased frequency.

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed societies to work and learn from home or work flexible hours to avoid overcrowding on public transport. It has also brought about a different paradigm in addressing traffic congestion or overcrowding on transport systems.

To optimally address these problems, we need to work on optimising both traffic load and capacity. Adding capacity is a typical solution, where the cost of the additional capacity is borne by commuters.

Many systems are built on this concept of adding capacity and raising fees. There is a need to change the problem-solving paradigm from a hike-and-pay approach to a systems approach.

SkillsFuture was launched to help workers pick up new skills in order that they may take on new jobs. This seems reactive.

Our system is not equipping our workforce with the right skill sets and competencies that are needed right away; companies turn to foreign talent while the workforce undergoes training.

We need to better anticipate the future skill sets and competencies our workforce requires to stay gainfully employed and to support economic growth.

The workforce needs to continually upgrade so that workers can find a new role within the company without being made redundant, or be matched to a new job right after losing one without having to spend time reskilling.

Andrew Tan Kok Chua

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