We had a predictably lively session with Mrs. Teo on 19 October 2018. Here are the key messages from the event:
1. Singapore’s demographic challenges of a low total fertility rate and increased longevity may not be unique. Nonetheless, as a city state their impact will be even more marked than those caused by the same challenges in other, larger, developed economies like China, the European Union and Japan.
2. As very much a glass half full Chamber, SICC sees some good opportunities for positive societal and workplace change. First, with fewer young people entering the workforce from 2020 onwards, there will be more opportunities for baby boomers and other older workers. Second, companies will need to live up to their claims that “people are our greatest asset” and keep developing all their workers. Third, the age of ageist human capital policies is over – something we can all celebrate. For example, the reduction in CPF contributions for the over 55s is discriminatory and ageist. The good news is that Singapore’s tripartite partners are considering this and other issues related to the employment of older workers.
3. The question is this. Are companies and their employees ready to step up their collective reskilling efforts? Many are but many are not and still others haven’t yet begun. This needs to change. The government provides multiple funding arrangements to encourage continual learning and upskilling. Indeed, “Upskilling the local workforce” was the theme of a MOM presentation at the event.
Many thanks to the Ministry of Manpower, our exclusive event partner Prudential and all attendees for their active participation.
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