This year seems like it will be rough.
If you thought it was just the banking sector that is affected, then you are wrong.
The oil and gas industry is also going through some difficult times.
Keppel Corp’s fourth-quarter net profit fell 44% while its full-year profit dropped to a 5 year low.
It also announced that the group will consolidate its interests in four asset management businesses under one subsidiary.
Fortunately the restructuring will not result in any job losses as assured by the company.
Slowly we are seeing more industries reporting lower earnings and increased layoffs not just locally but around the world as well.
Already, total employment growth for 2014 slowed to a 12-year low according to preliminary estimates released by the Ministry of Manpower. (MOM).
For the first quarter of 2016, the NTUC predicts that 234 workers will be retrenched from the unionised sector.
What does all this point to?
The year will definitely not be easy.
For workers, it means that if we don’t upgrade our skills and stay relevant, then we are putting ourselves at risk of losing our jobs.
Upgrading of skills doesn’t just mean deepening of skills. It also means second-skilling, which is acquiring a second skill.
As NTUC Secretary General Chan Chun Sing said, “It is no longer enough just to have a set of qualifications. These qualifications must have market currency and relevance to tomorrow’s jobs. This is the reason for SkillsFuture.”
He mentions relevance and currency, which means that skills that were acquired before, need to be updated and refreshed for tomorrow’s jobs.
To secure your job for tomorrow, there is an urgent need to refine your skills.
Hence, there is no better time for the authorities to launch the SkillsFuture initiative which helps Singaporeans to deepen and widen their skills.
To prepare ourselves for the future, we have to start now.