Take ownership of developing expertise in career

At The Straits Times Future Economy Forum, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said that there are thousands of jobs in the IT, precision engineering, rail infrastructure, finance and childhood education sectors ("Many jobs on offer despite slowdown: Ong Ye Kung"; last Friday).

Structural unemployment is acute for those who have lost their jobs and are not able to benefit by taking on these new positions in time.

It takes time and opportunities for a truly committed professional to hone his discipline.

However, the movement of people across industries due to job opportunities does not encourage the deepening of skills and expertise in the long term.

Industries and companies facing an uncertain business outlook would not be able to prepare their workers to switch industries smoothly.

It is clear that Singaporeans have to take ownership for their career longevity, and remain valuable despite a disruptive operating environment.

It takes gumption to recognise when your skills and credentials are no longer relevant.

With appropriate intervention from the Government, employers and other stakeholders, more Singaporeans will be able to find deeper meaning in their jobs.

It is not just about reasonable remuneration but also a sense of purpose when one's chosen vocation is skilful, scalable and respected.

Wong Oi Lin (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2016, with the headline 'Take ownership of developing expertise in career'. Print Edition | Subscribe