Research Paper : Managing Skills Gap in ASEAN

A study by SMU, JP Morgan shows gaps and opportunities in upskilling workforce in ASEAN.

A shortage of industry-ready skilled workers presents one of the biggest challenges for the five core
member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN-5, as they strive to realize
their economic visions. With an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) growth of close to 5% a year
and a combined GDP larger than that of India, the group comprising Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand,
Indonesia and the Philippines represents one of the most dynamic and promising growth regions
in the world today. Click to access a 2016 research done by Singapore Management University together with JP Morgan.

A tic-tac-toe approach by each individual translates into a workforce with Agile Skillsets, It is the essence of Skillsfuture.

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower , Max Atria, EXPO

Despite the low unemployment rate, skills gap exists in a number of industries,
as a result of the ongoing structural changes in the economy and the impact
of disruptive technologies. Matured Professionals, Managers, Executives and
Technicians (PMETs) are especially vulnerable to job displacement. In the latest
labor market report, 71% of those retrenched in 2015 were PMETs while 65.3%
were 40 years and above.

With its ageing population, Singapore has relied heavily on foreigners to help plug
gaps in its workforce. In 2015, foreigners comprised 38% of the total workforce
while local residents made up the other 62%. Despite some tightening of the
foreign workers policy in recent years, the total number of foreign workers
continues to increase. The Population White Paper (2013) projected that about
33 to 40% of the medium term GDP growth would come from an increase in
labor inputs while higher labor productivity accounts for the remainder

Fantastic Facilities

In 2015, the government launched SkillsFuture, a major national movement aimed
at promoting lifelong learning and preparing the workforce to be resilient and
adaptable. Spearheaded by a Tripartite Council chaired by the Deputy Prime
Minister, the movement will spend US$730 million over a five-year period (2015
− 2020) on various initiatives such as career guidance for students, enhanced
internships and subsidies for mid-career learning, and promoting career
progression based on skills mastery

Life Long Learning

The ICT industry benefits from Singapore’s robust intellectual property laws,
good connectivity, and easy access to global talents. As a global data management
hub, the Republic accounts for more than 50% of the commercial data center
space in South-east Asia. With Singapore’s push to become a Smart Nation, the
ICT sector is expected to be a key contributor to economic growth both directly
and also as an impetus to the growth in other industries such as healthcare
and logistics

The finance and insurance sector (or “financial sector” in short) has grown at a
rapid 8.6% CAGR from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, the sector contributed to 11.2% of
GDP and employed 9.4% of the total workforce, with half of the VA contributed
by the banking sub-sector. A fast growing segment is wealth management
which saw a strong CAGR of 14% from 2009 to 2014, raising its share of the
sector’s VA from 8.5% in 2010 to 11.4% in 2015. As a financial hub, Singapore
is well-positioned to support the rapid growth of Asian finance in areas such
as infrastructure funding, structured trade finance and wealth management,
and to benefit from growth opportunities provided by wider regional financial
sector integration.

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