Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability
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According to the recent reports from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore's economy expanded 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, the fastest pace in more than three years, and beating an advance estimate of 4.6 per cent. The economy is transiting from manpower-driven growth of the past to productivity-driven growth of the future.
After a few years of sluggish growth, Singapore's economy grew 3.5 per cent for the whole of 2017. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned, "We have benefited from the global economic upswing. But more fundamentally, our productivity has grown. Singaporeans are upgrading and learning new skills, while businesses are innovating and adopting new technology".
As a country, Singapore has a track record of mass re-skilling of its people to adapt and get ready to face the new economic realities. In the current context, the emphasis is on enhancing the digital capabilities. For instance, the Singaporean government’s “Tech Innovator Accelerator” Program, which will allow local firms to crowd-source digital solutions from experts and to eventually acquire deep digital capabilities for themselves to thrive in the new economy.
Singapore recognizes social media as a valuable platform to directly engage with individuals and interest groups, and get more people connected on collaborative projects. Social media now plays an essential role in branding and recruitment. During interviews, employers would assess candidates on scenario-based questions; these include how they conduct themselves in cyberspace. If the candidate can maturely explain how he or she handles an online situation, then employers can better gauge their credibility. There is a huge body of knowledge that young graduates should keep themselves informed as to what is happening around the world, because organisations and companies do expect that employees take advantage of what is happening around them, bring it back to the workplace and contextualise it.
Though the basic traits such as strong interpersonal skills, adaptability and a willingness to learn are still essential as older workers re-join the workforce and automation transforms the economy, yet getting ready for the digital world and building up a professional digital footprint is the call for the day.
David Ang Chee Chim
Director, Corporate Services, Human Capital (Singapore)
David Ang is a leading authority in the human capital space in Singapore. He brings with him more than 30 years of work experience in various senior positions in a statutory board (SPRING Singapore), small, large GLCs and MNCs in the manufacturing, services, private education and professional services sectors.
He was the Secretary-General/Treasurer of the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA) in 2004-06 and Chairperson of the WFPMA 11th World HR Congress Singapore. He regularly participates in governmental committees in manpower and competency development and employment practices at national level. He served also in voluntary and professional organisations promoting the HR Profession and leading practices, he spoke on various trends, challenges, issues and challenges at conferences/forums/seminars, and shared his perspectives and insights with the media.
He co-authored a book, SOS - Succeed or Sink on business sustainability strategies and practices.
He holds a Masters in Production Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany and a Masters of Science in Asia-pacific HRM from the National University of Singapore.
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