Employees in Singapore value digital skills over green skills

Cultivating a sustainability culture and offering upskilling opportunities can encourage employees from all job roles to drive sustainability initiatives.
By: | March 22, 2023

Despite the increasing importance of green skills in the job market, a study by Google and Economist Impact found that digital skills (69%) are the top priority for employees in Singapore, followed by analytical skills (53%) and soft skills (51%). In contrast, green skills are not as highly valued by employees in Singapore, with only 12% of respondents prioritising them, compared to 17.7% across the Asia-Pacific region.

Even with government subsidies, only 17% of employees in Singapore are motivated to acquire green skills, a lower percentage than regional neighbours such as Indonesia (33%), Malaysia (33%), the Philippines (28%), Thailand (21%), and Vietnam (21%).

Ben King, Managing Director of Google Singapore, said, “The demand for a workforce that possesses green skills and knowledge is rapidly intensifying. To instil a recognition of the important and value of green skills amongst the wide workforce, companies must lead by example and invest in cultivating a culture that puts sustainability at its core.”

Titled Bridging the skills: Fuelling careers and the economy in Asia-Pacific, the study also found that 49% of employees surveyed in Singapore lack clarity on the skills needed in the market. This, combined with the lack of time and resources, appear to be key barriers to employees picking up new skills. Therefore, government awareness programmes are crucial, with six in 10 (61%) employees in Singapore relying on such programmes to learn about valuable future skills, substantially higher than the regional average of 42.5%.

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King concluded, “As the majority of employees in Singapore rely on government awareness programmes as their primary source of information, strategic public-private partnerships can cultivate greater awareness of upskilling initiatives and reach the wider community. Together, such partnerships can help build a resilient ecosystem that empowers our workforce with the necessary knowledge to tackle the challenges of tomorrow with confidence.”