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What COVID-19 has taught us about upskilling and reskilling
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What COVID-19 has taught us about upskilling and reskilling

Employers need to  pursue a reskilling agenda that ensures their workforces are resilient to overcome challenges. Experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) share three tips for employers to strengthen their workforce capabilities. 

COVID-19 has forced organisations to rethink their business models and find innovative ways to engage customers. Organisations that have been actively building up digital competencies even before COVID-19 have developed the agility required to adapt and bounce back more quickly during the pandemic, resulting in the emergence of new business possibilities, such as traditional wet market stallholders leveraging technology to sell their goods via Facebook Live.

As the global economy evolves at an unprecedented pace, employers need to pursue a reskilling agenda that ensures that their workforces are digitally competent and resilient to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

Here are three ways organisations can consider strengthening their workforce capabilities.

#1 Align your people strategy with business outcomes 

Employers need to view the upskilling of their workforce as a long-term investment for the business. In the long-run, reskilling existing employees to adapt and adjust with business changes will be less costly and disruptive than retrenching, re-hiring, and re-training employees with economic and business fluctuations.

Aside from developing new business goals and a recovery model, employers should also consider the skills and aptitudes that their workforce would require for the business to stay agile and competitive by paying close attention to the Industry Transformation Maps.

#2 Analyse skills gaps and build critical skills

Assess what skills each employee has and what gaps need to be filled. Use skills mapping, also known as competency mapping, to create a visual overview of the skills needed at the individual or team level to help your organisation reach current and future business goals. For instance, employers could form a taskforce to evaluate the current skill levels of teams and address gaps as well as identify 'on-the-job' opportunities to streamline work processes and redesign roles for improved employee performance.

All employees, regardless of age and role, should be given a fair opportunity to be considered for training and development based on their strengths and needs to help them achieve their full potential.

#3 Tap on existing schemes and funding

Enhance your workforce capabilities by leveraging existing schemes and funding. For instance,  the  SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit grants a one-time S$10,000 credit to businesses that embark on enterprise and workforce transformation while the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative helps accelerate professional development for fresh and mid-career professionals through on-the-job training that is aligned to the Skills Framework for Infocomm and Communication Technology sector.            

The pandemic has shown us that we will not always have the luxury of sticking to traditional ways of operating. Organisations need to constantly evolve and build workforce capabilities in order to stay competitive, amid and beyond pandemic.

Visit for more information.

Photo / 123RF 

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