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Michael Smith

Managing Director South/South East Asia

Jaya Dass

Country Director

Employees fear for job security due to lack of digital skills in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia


The world is fast transforming into a digital one with consumers changing their purchasing habits, as well as organisations adopting new digital strategies to grow their business and maintain a competitive edge. This seems to have hit the confidence of employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia with many stating that in order to guarantee employability in the future, they need to acquire more digital skills.

When looking at the regional average across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, 84% of employees stated they needed additional digital skills to guarantee future employability compared to a lower global average of 64%. 58% of employees across the three countries went on further to explain that their current roles involved large amounts of repetitive tasks that could be automated, compared to the global average of 44%.

Employees in Malaysia held the highest concern for their job security with nine in ten (91%) stating that they needed to acquire digital skills. In addition, seven in ten (74%) stated that their current jobs involved a lot of repetitive work that could be automated, a major reason for their concern over their aptitude for digital work.

Singapore employees were slightly more optimistic – five in ten (49%), stated that their jobs involved less repetitive tasks that could be automated compared to their counterparts in the region. Despite this, eight in ten (84%) Singapore employees still felt the need to learn more digital skills, surpassing the global average by 20%.

Hong Kong Millennials, aged 18 to 34, were the only respondents among Singapore and Malaysia to feel a stronger need to digitally upskill than their older colleagues, aged 35 to 54.

While many feel that their organisations in the region are prepared with digital strategies, 84% of employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia also feel that the skillsets required to drive these strategies forward are lacking in their respective countries. In comparison, only 58% of employees mirrored these sentiments on a global level.

Managing Director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, Michael Smith noted, “The region has been undergoing rapid development to boost digital strategies, and hiring trends have supported this. Organisations across various industries are snapping up talent with digital skills to support their digital strategies, which has led to a gap within the talent pool for candidates with these skills.”

“The Workmonitor results have clearly shown that employees understand that there is a strong lack of digital talent in the region and that they need to upskill for the future. Government agencies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are all looking to address this issue with initiatives to upskill their respective workforces. Employees would also need to be open to learning and constantly update themselves in terms of technologies and skill sets to stay relevant for the future workplace,” added Mr Smith.

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