How do firms gain by reskilling displaced staff?

I read with optimism and encouragement the report about organisations that are proactively reskilling their employees before they get displaced (Getting firms to invest in helping workers prepare for future jobs; May 24).

Indeed, other organisations in Singapore, small and large ones, can take a leaf out of their book to learn how pre-emptive reskilling can help not just employees, but employers as well.

This is an essential and important conversation we need to have in view of the current volatile business landscape.

But I am curious and puzzled as to why the consultant from McKinsey & Company said that he thought organisations should invest in training their displaced workers for new jobs.

Why should any firm allocate training resources for their displaced workers?

I work in a small and medium-sized enterprise and have adopted the culture of pre-emptive training for myself and my co-workers.

But I cannot afford to do so for my former colleagues. I am unable to fathom the rationale of doing so.

If there is any research material from McKinsey or other consulting firms that clarifies this issue, perhaps more details should be published so that readers like myself can learn from it.

Tan Kar Quan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2018, with the headline 'How do firms gain by reskilling displaced staff?'. Print Edition | Subscribe