Millennial workers among issues to be discussed at forum

Industries should consider the desire by young working adults for flexibility and creative freedom, as the generation known as the millennials form an increasingly significant portion of the workforce.

Machines and automation are also disrupting businesses more and more, and their transformative effects should be embraced.

These are some issues that will be discussed at The Straits Times and SkillsFuture Singapore Future of Work Forum on July 3 at the School of the Arts.

Almost 60 per cent of Asia's working population are millennials, compared with about 40 per cent globally, said Mr Indranil Roy, head of The Future of Work Centre of Excellence, set up by global consultancy Deloitte to find solutions for changing workplace demands.

The term "millennial" is loosely defined by researchers as someone born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s or even early 2000s.

As this generation enters the workforce in greater numbers, and in line with their valuing of flexibility, there has been a shift towards letting people choose whether to work from offices, homes or shared workspaces.

Google Singapore country director Stephanie Davis noted that there are traits in the tech sector that define this generation, such as the desire for autonomy to think and act creatively, and not to have employers who are "over-prescriptive".

Pointing to the disruption posed by technology, Ms Davis said "we're now seeing it in Singapore and across South-east Asia".

SkillsFuture Singapore chief executive Ng Cher Pong said disruption will benefit those who can ride the wave, which is why the Government is working with parties such as training providers and the labour movement to help firms and workers to prepare for it.

Mr Ng, Mr Roy and Ms Davis will be joined at the forum by Samsung Electronics Singapore president Lee Jui Siang.While admission is free, there are limited seats available. Those interested can register online at stssg.sphevents.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'Millennial workers among issues to be discussed at forum'. Print Edition | Subscribe