Strategies needed to tap senior workforce potential

SINGAPORE: Better managing diversity and inclusion in businesses would enable the country to fully use its "longevity dividend", Minister of Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huanga has said.

The term refers to a country’s effort to invest in peoples’ health and education to meet the challenges of an ageing population and shrinking workforce. Gan says that more can be done to tap on the potential of senior workers who are key players in Singapore's labour force.

In 2020, one in four workers were within the age range of 55 and above.

The minister recommended employers have systems and structures to continually develop their workers' critical thinking skills, as well as training in effective communication and promotion of learning agility.

"Although skills acquisition is ultimately an individual endeavour, the role that businesses play in upskilling our workforce cannot be understated," she stated.

On the other hand, the Government must provide a conducive environment that supports employer efforts. She says that to help older workers in their employment, retirement assets, and continued learning, the Government had shifted the retirement age to 63, from 62 previously. It had also increased the re-employment age to 68 from 67.

In 2030, these will change again, to 65 and 70, respectively.

"We should embrace the multi-generational workforce by recognising the contributions of all employees — older workers bringing their wisdom and life experiences and complementing the skills of younger workers who are often more technologically savvy and possess newer skills," Gan said.

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