Will new measures close the gap?
Industries in Singapore “driven by growth and consumption” are predicted to generate more jobs in 2021 – even as the global economy reels from the impact of the 2020 recession.
Three sectors, in particular, will likely ramp up hiring despite overall downturn in the job market: information and communication technology; biomanufacturing and chemicals; and consumer (sales and marketing), according to the 2021 Market Outlook report of Randstad Singapore.
Emerging tech will continue to influence demand for certain roles – such as those in software development or digital marketing – as businesses and consumers turn to digital platforms.
“The increasing focus on digital transformation will no doubt drive talent demand and shape the local workforce in 2021,” said Jaya Dass, managing director for Randstad Malaysia and Singapore.
“There will be higher demand for technologists and digitally adept professionals skilled across all functions and industries.”
The need for highly skilled professionals in areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics and cloud, is urgent since the digital economy will require 149 million new tech roles by 2025, Microsoft said.
These IT jobs aren’t limited to the tech space, either.
“Business-to-consumer companies in non-tech space such as retail, banking and food & beverage are pivoting their business models from offline to online,” analysts from Randstad said.
Meanwhile, companies in the manufacturing and supply-chain industries are also starting to invest more heavily in tech to speed up the logistics of consumer goods and essential/medical supplies.
Financial services firms also accelerated their shift to digital banking last year, and are now foraying into blockchain and decentralised financing.
But the fact that countries are still regulating border security tightly amid the pandemic makes it hard for organisations to recruit high-calibre talent.
“There is an ongoing and severe shortage of technologists across the world. Border control measures have only made it more challenging for companies to attract these highly sought-after candidates,” said Daljit Sall, senior director of IT recruitment at Randstad Singapore.
Singapore’s Tech.Pass visa programme opens a pathway for world-class talent, such as established tech entrepreneurs, leaders or technical experts to “perform frontier and disruptive innovations”.
“The criteria may seem a little high, but being able to attract and secure top tech talent is the priority, especially senior tech professionals in roles such as Head of Engineering,” Sall said.
“It shows global stakeholders that Singapore is committed to our position as the region’s technology hub. A highly qualified and bigger talent pool will also attract even more tech firms and investments in the future.”
Apart from attracting global talent, however, Singapore is also tapping into schools and the public and private sectors to “develop robust curriculums that will equip the younger generations with future in-demand tech skills,” Randstad analysts said.