- 78% of business leaders who report having vacant job roles are facing challenges in filling these vacancies at their companies.
- However, only half (51%) of business leaders say they have sent their workers for training in the past six months.
- Unionised companies (57%) are more likely to have sent their workers for training in the past six months, as compared to non-unionised companies (37%).
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 22 December 2021 - Workforce learning has become increasingly crucial to help maintain economic productivity by improving workforce competencies. However, only half (51%) of business leaders say they have sent their workers for training in the past six months. In addition, many (78%) business leaders who report having vacant job roles are facing challenges in filling these vacancies at their companies.
These were some of the key findings from a recent labour research on the Continuing Education and Training (CET): Now and What Could Be Next, by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Strategy, in partnership with NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB). The research surveyed a total of 564 business leaders across industries in Singapore, such as Manufacturing, Information and Communications, Financial and Insurance Services, Wholesale and Retail Trade, and Professional Services.
Business leaders (63%) reveal that skills mismatch is the most prevalent form of mismatches, as compared to wages mismatch (17%), experience mismatch (18%), and expectations mismatch (2%). The top three industries most concerned about skills mismatch are public administration, real estate services, and wholesale and retail trade.
The top challenge for business leaders to send their workers for training is financial costs (38%), followed by difficulties in identifying relevant courses (37%), and matching employees to training (33%). To encourage them to send their workers for training, business leaders say that provision of higher training subsidies (73%) and business consultancy services (55%) would serve as incentives.
In view of the demand for higher training subsidies, three in four (75%) of business leaders say that they have participated in training-related initiatives by the Government, or Labour Movement. However, the overall utilisation of initiatives remains low at an average of 14%. It is therefore plausible that with the wide variety of training-related initiatives targeted at helping employers, most are unsure of which initiative would best address their concerns.
NTUC will continue to offer support through its Training & Placement (T&P) ecosystem to help companies better access and leverage these initiatives. Unions (17.9%) remain one of the top three avenues where business leaders have heard of training-related initiatives, with the others being Human Resource Departments in the company (27.5%) and Government websites (25.9%).
In addition, it was uncovered that unionised companies are more likely to invest in training for their workers. Out of the business leaders who sent their employees for training in the past six months, 57% were unionised companies while 37% were non-unionised companies.
Commenting on the findings, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Chee Hong Tat says, "Expanding the role of the Labour Movement in the national training ecosystem is crucial to shape continuing education and training (CET) for workers. The Labour Movement will continue to work closely with government agencies, employers, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and CET providers to identity current and future in-demand skills and address the quality and impact of training programmes in relation to workers' skills gaps. We encourage employers to work with NTUC, be it through Company Training Committees or the newly-launched Learning eXperience Platform (LXP), and to tap on the resources available at NTUC's Training and Placement ecosystem to strengthen their enterprise and workforce capabilities."
NTUC LHUB's Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Ong, says, "One of the ways to overcome the challenge of filling job vacancies is to upskill and uplift current employees, as building on existing talents is more cost-effective than hiring new talents. At NTUC LearningHub, we support business leaders by driving human-centric company transformation through outcomes-focused training. Existing employees know the business the best, in terms of company goals, values, policies and even culture, so the transition will be less disruptive. More importantly, employees will feel empowered to step up and contribute more to the organisation through expanding their know-hows in technical and technology skills. Therefore, career and skills development through training is a key employee value proposition as it demonstrates companies' vested interest in the long-haul, to learn and grow together."
About National Trades Union Congress
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of professional associations and partners across all sectors in Singapore. NTUC's objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and working people remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of our members and working people; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC's vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, ages and nationalities. NTUC is at the heart of the Labour Movement, which comprises 60 affiliated unions, six affiliated associations, 12 social enterprises, six related organisations as well as a growing ecosystem of U Associates and enterprise partners. For more details on NTUC, please visit our website at
About NTUC LearningHub
NTUC LearningHub is the leading Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore which aims to transform the lifelong employability of working people. Since our corporatisation in 2004, we have been working with employers and individual learners to provide learning solutions in areas such as Cloud, Infocomm Technology, Healthcare, Employability & Literacy, Business Excellence, Workplace Safety & Health, Security, Human Resources and Foreign Worker Training.
To date, NTUC LearningHub has helped over 25,000 organisations and achieved over 2.6 million training places across more than 500 courses with a pool of over 900 certified trainers. As a Total Learning Solutions provider to organisations, we also forge partnerships and offer a wide range of relevant end-to-end training solutions and work constantly to improve our training quality and delivery. In 2020, we have accelerated our foray into online learning with our Virtual Live Classes and, through working with best-in-class partners such as IBM, DuPont Sustainable Solutions and GO1, asynchronous online courses.
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