Tan Choon Shian
Chief Executive, Workforce Singapore
Tan Choon Shian
I want to encourage tech professionals to stay relevant. Keeping updated on the labour market will give you a sense of where the new jobs are and what the new skills are.
ON MISSED MATCHES
Q: We’ve been reading a lot about “missed matches” in Ministry of Manpower’s reports. What does “missed matches” mean and what is WSG doing to help reduce its occurrence?
CS: Missed matches are like lost opportunities. The jobseeker has what the employer needs – job skills and soft skills like work attitude, and the employer has what the jobseeker wants – salary, work conditions, growth opportunities. But somehow, the two are unable to connect.
Q: How does job mismatches affect the tech industry?
CS: Mismatches arise when there is a gap between what jobseekers want and what employers are looking for. This gap could arise from different skills, wages and/or job expectations, and the trend of mismatches might increase as the workforce ages.
The tech industry, driven by a high rate of technology disruptions, moves faster than other sectors. As a result, there are always new jobs requiring new skills in the sector. Because of this, skills gaps develop quickly in the technology sector. Those few that have the appropriate skills might be poached by others quickly. This doesn’t improve the situation, so to help employers, WSG looks at improving the overall capability of skilled professionals, and works together with partners such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Singapore Computer Society (SCS) to train up these pools of professionals.
Q: What help is WSG providing to minimise mismatches?
CS: To address the problem of skills mismatches, we have Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) to help tech professionals convert from one job to another. Being a fast-moving industry, it is common for employers in the tech industry to not be able to find jobseekers who possess the exact skills they need.