SINGAPORE (Apr 4): Singapore recorded the highest number of employees in Southeast Asia who expect their government to offer incentives should they choose to develop their professional competencies or remain in the workforce.

Based on the results from the Randstad Workmonitor study for 4Q17, 80% of employees surveyed globally believe their governments should offer incentives such as tax rebates and subsidies if they choose to further develop their professional competencies.

This sentiment was most prominent in Southeast Asia at a regional average of 90% – and highest in Singapore with 92% of employees seeking more incentives from the government if they stay employed.

The online study was conducted from Oct 24 2017–Nov 8 2017 among full-time employees aged 18-65, with a minimum sample size of 400 interviews per country, including Singapore.

Its findings also revealed that Singapore’s female population had higher expectations of the government (94%) in terms of incentives than the men (87%), with experienced professionals more eager to receive such incentives than their younger peers are they are likely to pay more for training programmes to deepen their professional capabilities.

In comparison, employees in both Hong Kong and Malaysia had similar expectations of their governments for incentives at 91% each.

Like Singapore, more female employees in Malaysia said that the government should offer policy incentives (92%) as compared to men (89%). There were also similarly more experienced professionals in Malaysia seeking policy incentives from the government to ensure employability as compared to their younger counterparts.

Hong Kong notably saw slightly higher expectations from the male population (92%) than women (90%) in the workforce, while its younger employees between the age of 18 and 34 looked to more financial support from the government to acquire highly-demanded skills, which Randstad says were to potentially offset or manage the high cost of living in Hong Kong.  

“It is critical for the workforce to constantly keep up with the rapid rate of change necessary to advance in their careers. Singapore employees can tap into public initiatives such as SkillsFuture and Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) to deepen their capabilities and acquire relevant skills and experiences required to deliver higher value to their jobs,” says Jaya Dass, Managing Director of Randstad Singapore.

“Local institutions are already providing subsidised courses to encourage professionals to upskill and re-skill. With the acquisition of new knowledge and deeper capabilities, employees will also be able to command a higher salary and benefits package due to limited talent in high-demand sectors,” she adds.