More help for companies to redesign jobs and transform: Josephine Teo

The Jobs Transformation Maps will provide job-level analysis of how jobs and skills will be changed by technology and other forces.
The Jobs Transformation Maps will provide job-level analysis of how jobs and skills will be changed by technology and other forces.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Close to $10 million will be set aside over the next two years to create blueprints for job transformation in companies, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on Wednesday (March 3).

Three of these Jobs Transformation Maps in human resources, logistics and financial services have already been completed.

The ministry has plans for another 12, which cover wholesale trade, retail, food manufacturing, infocomm and media, supply chain management, accountancy, in-house finance and accounting functions, construction, facilities management, land transport, environmental services and tourism.

The maps will provide job-level analysis of how jobs and skills will be changed by technology and other forces, such as automation, in the medium term.

For instance, an inter-agency team in 2019 studied the impact of Industry 4.0 on the logistics sector in the next three to five years. It identified how 56 existing job roles will evolve, and 12 new job roles will emerge, Mrs Teo said.

One example is a warehouse supervisor, whose job role can evolve from manually recording inventory to operating automated storage and retrieval systems.

She added that logistics companies are taking reference from the findings to invest in new systems and reskill their staff.

Mrs Teo said: "To sustain better pay over time, there's no short cut to raising productivity. This is rarely achieved by just upskilling or reskilling the workers.

"At the firm level, work processes must change and jobs redesigned. Otherwise, the new skills have limited impact."

She added that transformation should serve a purpose to create better jobs, better skills, and therefore better pay and better prospects.

"All of these cannot be achieved without better businesses. It is why workforce transformation and business transformation go hand in hand."

To this end, the Productivity Solutions Grant was expanded to also support job redesign initiatives.

It provides companies with job-redesign consultancy support to complement and drive business and workforce transformation.

Eligible firms can receive enhanced funding of up to 80 per cent for consultancy services, capped at $30,000 per enterprise till March 31 next year.

Thereafter, the funding rate for job redesign under the Productivity Solutions Grant will revert to up to 70 per cent of the consultancy cost, still capped at $30,000 per enterprise.

"There is a panel of pre-approved consultancy firms. They bridge the knowledge gaps for companies to develop and implement job redesign solutions," Mrs Teo said.

There are also measures in place to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attract talent, she noted.

Close to 31,000 SME employers have benefited through the Jobs Growth Incentive and SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

The P-Max programme, which is a place-and-train initiative, has placed over 7,800 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) into about 7,300 SMEs in the past five years.

Older workers over 50 years old made up about 44 per cent of these placements last year.

"We want our SMEs to succeed. Ultimately, their ability to transform themselves will spur our workforce to be transformed too," Mrs Teo said.