SINGAPORE: The recent labour study of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Strategy and the NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) found that only 51% of surveyed employers have sent their workers for training and development in the past six months.
Moreover, a majority or 78% of business leaders find it difficult to recruit the right candidates for their various job openings.
The research, titled Continuing Education and Training: Now and What Could Be Next, studied a total of 564 business leaders from manufacturing, information and communication, financial and insurance, wholesale and retail, and professional industries.
In terms of mismatches in the workforce, 63% of the respondents revealed that skills mismatch is the most common form among others, such as wages mismatch (17%), experience mismatch (18%), and expectations mismatch (2%).
Skills mismatches are mostly seen in the public administration, real estate services, and wholesale and retail trade industries.
But despite the mismatches, the study revealed that companies are still not keen on upskilling employees. Training costs (38%) top the reasons business leaders could not send their employees for learning and development. The difficulty of finding relevant courses (37%), and matching employees to training (33%), are the second and third stated reasons, respectively.
NTUC LHUB's chief executive officer Jeremy Ong said, "One of the ways to overcome the challenge of filling job vacancies is to upskill and uplift current employees, as building on existing talents is more cost-effective than hiring new talents.
“Therefore, career and skills development through training is a key employee value proposition as it demonstrates companies' vested interest in the long haul, to learn and grow together," Ong added.
Incentives, such as higher training subsidies and business consultancy services, could enable them to send their workers for training, according to the business leaders.
The NTUC is a multi-sectoral national confederation of trade unions with a network of professional associations and partners in Singapore composed of 60 affiliated unions, six affiliated associations, 12 social enterprises, six related organisations, and a growing number of partners.
NTUC LearningHub is a Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore that has helped over 25,000 organisations in more than 2.6 million training venues, with more than 500 courses done by over 900 certified trainers.