Given that a COVID-19 economy requires companies and individuals to adapt and evolve, the change in skills required to keep business viable is now outpacing the talent available.

This can be seen as seven in 10 employers (72 percent) pointed out that there have difficulty in filling vacant roles in their companies, according to a latest survey conducted by NTUC LearningHub to gain industry insights published in the New Normal of Sector Skills report.

Other key findings in the survey include that almost all employers (99 percent) agree that there is greater need for employees who can take on hybrid roles, in order to meet their current business objectives.

Additionally, a large majority of employers (71 percent) also intend to hire candidates with broader skill sets in the future.

The survey was carried out online in October this year with 367 business leaders and 567 full-time employees across different industry clusters such as modern services, manufacturing, essential domestic services, lifestyle, built environment as well as trade and connectivity.

In terms of complex business environment where hybrid roles are in demand, 69 percent of employees revealed that they have to adopt new skills in their daily work, and 71 percent feel the urgency to upskill and reskill to keep themselves competitive in the job market.

Echoing the same sentiment, 84 percent of employers also indicated that it was necessary for employees to be equipped with new skills due to change brought by COVID-19 to their businesses.

Commenting on the findings, NTUC LHUB’s Chairman, Eugene Wong, says, “In a world where we are in a constant state of change, we cannot remain single-tracked when it comes to our careers. To navigate the new norm and seek out opportunities, it is key to stay informed about the latest jobs and skills in demand, then take action by upskilling for employer-coveted hybrid roles and supplementary skills.”

He added, “As the business environment transforms, there will inevitably be shifts in the skills that are in demand. To future-proof your employability, stay open for multiple career pathways by constantly upskilling or even reskilling to remain ready, relevant and resilient in challenging times.”

In the survey, employers were asked to pick the top three most valuable supplementary skills for employees in hybrid role. They chose Effective Communication (57 percent), Teamwork/Collaboration (57 percent) and Data Analysis (54 percent).

As for employers in the “Built Environment” industry cluster, they were the most inclined (90 percent) towards hiring candidates with broader skill sets for hybrid roles. This is followed closely by those in the ‘Trade & Connectivity’, and ‘Manufacturing’ industry clusters, where 89 percent of employers say the same.

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