7 in 10 bosses aim to hire workers with broader skill sets: Survey

The vast majority of employers said it was necessary for employees to pick up new skills.
The vast majority of employers said it was necessary for employees to pick up new skills.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Seven in 10 employers intend to hire workers with broader skill sets in the future, a recent survey showed.

Results from the NTUC LearningHub's survey were published yesterday as part of a report which noted that almost all employers agreed there that there was a greater need for employees able to take on hybrid roles.

About 72 per cent of those polled also cited difficulties in filling vacant roles in their companies, amid disruptions because of Covid-19.

The survey was conducted online in October with 367 business leaders and 567 full-time employees across six major industry clusters, including manufacturing as well as trade and connectivity, to evaluate the pandemic's impact on them.

Around 80 per cent of the respondents were from the private sector.

About 69 per cent of employees in the survey said that they have had to adopt new skills in their daily work, while about 71 per cent said they felt an urgency to upskill and reskill to remain competitive in the job market.

Similarly, the vast majority of employers - 84 per cent - said it was necessary for employees to pick up new skills due to changes to their businesses as a result of the pandemic.

Employers singled out the three most valuable supplementary skills for employees in the hybrid role - effective communication, teamwork or collaboration, and data analysis.

They also noted that the top three adaptive skills that workers lacked were innovation, analytical reasoning and complex problem-solving, and creativity.

About half of the workers polled said that they had upgraded their skills in the last six months to keep themselves competitive in the workplace or overall job market.

But 74 per cent of them wished their companies provided more support in skills upgrading.

NTUC LearningHub chairman Eugene Wong said: "In a world where we are in a constant state of change, we cannot remain single-tracked when it comes to our careers.

"To navigate the new norm and seek opportunities, it is key to stay informed about the latest jobs and skills in demand, then take action by upskilling for employer-coveted hybrid roles and supplementary skills."

He added that there would inevitably be shifts in skills in demand as the business environment transforms.

"To future-proof your employability, stay open for multiple career pathways by constantly upskilling or even reskilling to remain ready, relevant and resilient in challenging times," Mr Wong said.

Choo Yun Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2020, with the headline '7 in 10 bosses aim to hire workers with broader skill sets: Survey'. Subscribe