SINGAPORE (March 28): Rather than looking to their employers to provide training, a majority 77% of Singapore respondents are taking responsibility for developing their skills through self-learning and leveraging on-the-job experience, according to a recent poll by Hays.

Conversely, only 16% of Singapore respondents rely on their employers to provide training and development, while just 7% depend on formal courses to add to their skill sets.

The poll was conducted online at the professional recruiting group’s website between January and March 2017 to survey respondents across China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore.

In a release on Sunday, Hays notes that the majority of respondents across all five key Asian employment markets have unanimously ranked a combination of self-learning and on-the-job experience as their preferred method of skills building.

Mainland Chinese candidates appeared to be the most proactive (78%) in this respect, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong, which both reported using self-learning and on-the-job-experience to build skills at 77%.

Malaysia had the largest proportion of workers relying on their employers to provide training and development at 26%, followed by Japan (20%).

Using formal courses to build skills was the least-used option across all locations apart from Hong Kong (12%), with 9%of candidates in mainland China using this method compared to 8% in Japan and 5% in Malaysia.

“Unlike past generations, Singapore’s workforce of today is far more proactive in keeping up with the changing demands for specific skills and knowledge related to their job and sector. There is much to be gained from making the most of mentors and stretch goals at work to take your skills to the next level. Online courses also make it that much easier to keep up with the skills and knowledge needed in your sector,” comments Lynne Roeder, managing director of Hays in Singapore.

However, she also urges career-minded candidates to be mindful of the importance of keeping up with formal qualification requirements that may be trending in their respective sectors.

“For some job roles, employers require specific tertiary qualifications and even post graduate qualifications so they won’t accept anything less,” says Roeder.