Technological changes make re-learning on the job vital
As technology changes the nature of jobs and the economy, the need for workers to learn new skills regularly has become more pressing.
Bosses will need to play a bigger role in helping staff hone and update their skills, since what they learnt through the education system will not be enough to carry them through their careers, experts said.
Employers should move towards recognising new types of courses outside the traditional education system, since "high-quality content and digital delivery models will be able to offer employees ready access to continuous learning", said Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan.
Careers are becoming longer due to rising life expectancy, while the half-life of professional skills - the time taken for a skill to lose relevance - is being compressed to as little as five or six years, said Mr Indranil Roy, Future of Work lead at Deloitte South-east Asia. This means a typical worker will need to acquire new skills at least seven to eight times over his career.
He said: "In an age where skill sets become obsolete in just a few years, many workers are scrambling to stay current. Lifelong learning has therefore become a prerequisite for success."
Companies and employees are paying attention to this trend. In Deloitte's global survey of over 10,400 business and human resource leaders, the issue of careers and learning was the second most important trend, up from fifth last year.