Less educated young employees in Singapore lack training opportunities

Employers in Singapore are more likely to financially support the training needs of employees who are more educated, a new study has found.
By: | March 30, 2023

Young employees in Singapore who are low earners and less educated face different challenges from their peers who are more highly qualified, both in terms of job mobility and mental health.

For instance, they are less likely to take up training due to a lack of support from their employers, according to a study by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Social Service Research Centre (SSR).

While 64% of employees with a diploma and 69% of employees with a degree had their training sponsored by employers, only 46% of employees with post-secondary education and 41% with secondary education and below had employers who paid for their training. Instead, employees with lower education levels depended largely on government funding to fulfill their training needs.

According to Associate Professor Irene Ng, Principal Investigator of the study and the Steering Committee Chair of SSR, socio-economic status is an important factor to target to close training gaps. This is because of the lower participation but greater training benefits to less-educated, non-professional, managerial, executive, and technical (non-PMET) employees, she explained.

However, Professor Ng cautioned that training, if done only because people need paper qualifications before they can receive higher wages, could lead to an endless paper chase, reported The Straits Times.

READ: Singapore’s youth unemployment hits 24-year low in 2022

The study examined the work experiences of about 1,400 young and low-income Singaporeans aged 21 to 40 between 2020 to 2022 and found that training contributed to an increase of around 20% in wages for all employees over time.