Focus energy on helping workers stay relevant

An international survey has indicated that four in 10 people between 16 and 25 years old are not confident of their future in the employment market. Robots, unsurprisingly, are to blame for their fears ("Smart machines 'will displace millions of jobs in next five years'"; Jan 19).

What is surprising is that some of the respondents are from advanced economies, which are leaders in engineering and high-tech industries.

Germany for example, has been, and still is, at the forefront in engineering and new technologies, and is emulated globally.

Yet, 40 per cent of its young people see a bleak future.

If the survey is anything to go by, what does it tell us? Are we not moving fast enough in our efforts to change?

In Singapore, we have a tug of war going on between moving rapidly and slowing down.

Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) could be badly hit by this situation.

Major stakeholders are attempting to prescribe targeted antidotes for specific weaknesses. For instance, they advocate more education to help each segment of the workforce stay relevant.

We must concentrate our energy and resources on critical areas.

Tan Kar Quan