2016 will not be easy for Singapore.
This was mentioned by DBS CEO Piyush Gupta at the DBS’ Private Banking Outlook for the first half of 2016.
According to him, Singapore will be challenged because in addition to the overall macro global outlook, two other things also affect the nation:
- Deflating parts of the economy, particularly the housing market, including consumer demand.
- Restructuring the supply side through the labour crunch.
“…this is the trickiest and most sensitive time in Singapore’s economic transformation that we’ll see for a long time.”
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta
In the last Labour Market Report for the Third Quarter of 2015, the Manpower Ministry revealed that Singapore’s unemployment rate rose to 3% for residents and 3.1% for citizens amid softer economic conditions.
Also, the number of workers laid off in the third quarter of 2015 (3,460) was higher than in the preceding quarter (3,250).
If you ask me, all these mean one thing for Singapore: it’s gonna be a tough time for Singaporeans to stay in a job.
So what do we do?
It might sound preachy and all, but the only thing that might help us all is upgrading…specifically skills upgrading.
It is for good reason that the government has been encouraging us to take up courses and training to upgrade our skills.
Of course, these courses and training help to keep our skills relevant and up-to-date. This helps workers on two fronts: enhance our productivity and stay employable.
But the onus is on the individual worker to take on such courses and training, though some companies send their employees for certain courses.
Hence, there is a need for Singaporeans to build a learning culture at every level.
From 1 January this year (2016), Singaporeans are given $500 SkillsFuture Credits for use on Government-subsidised courses.
According to Labour MP Desmond Choo, workers should use the credits to deepen their domain skills and explore skills useful to exploit new opportunities.
Like Mr Piyush, Choo also said that Singapore’s economy and jobs will change quickly in ways workers might not expect.
So yes, 2016 is not going to be easy for Singapore and our fellow workers.
Hence, we need to take the first step and improve our skills to remain employable… that’s probably the only way to go.