7 in 10 Singapore workers feel unskilled for digital jobs

Image courtesy of Larry Teo

More than seven in 10 workers in Singapore do not feel they are “very equipped” to learn digital skills that businesses need now (73%) and in the future (71%), according to the Global Digital Skills Index from Salesforce.

The index is based on a survey of over 23,500 workers in 19 countries reporting their readiness to acquire the digital skills needed by businesses today and over the next five years.

Results show that despite the misgivings felt by the majority of Singapore respondents, only 29% are “very actively” involved in digital skills learning and training programmes today.

“We still have work to do in equipping Singaporeans for the future of work, which will be pivotal to the recovery, resilience and growth of our economy,” said Sujith Abraham, SVP and general manager of Salesforce ASEAN. 

“Businesses play a critical role in collaborating with other organisations in the ecosystem, to ensure the right kinds of training and recruitment opportunities scale up to match digital demand and reach all aspects of society equally,” said Abraham.

Respondents in emerging nations India, Mexico, Brazil, and Thailand are more confident than those in developed nations about their digital future. India has the index’s highest digital readiness score (63 out of 100), where 76% of respondents feel very prepared for a digital skills-led workplace today and 72% are “very actively” learning new digital skills.

According to the Salesforce Index, skills in collaboration technology like Slack are viewed by Singapore respondents as the most important skills needed by businesses today and over the next five years. This is followed by digital administrative and encryption and cybersecurity skills.

Yet, less than a third of respondents in Singapore rate themselves “advanced” in these skills — 30% in collaboration technology skills; 26% in digital administrative skills; and 21% in encryption and cybersecurity skills.

Globally, over half (51%) of all Index respondents want to learn new skills to help them grow in their current careers. This compares with 46% in Singapore.

The index also reveals that younger respondents in Singapore have greater confidence and ambition to learn new skills — 36% of Gen Z and millennial respondents are “very actively” learning and training for skills needed over the next five years compared to 19% of respondents aged 50 and above. 

Businesses have a major opportunity to nurture talent by providing tailored, ‘always on’ training that will help drive growth and innovation, increase equity and engagement and create strong leaders for the future.