Singapore’s response to the challenge of digitalization

Written by My Linh Nguyen

On the first day of the exploreASEAN Preparatory Seminar 2019, Mr. Tuck Seng Low provided the project with a knowledgeable insight of the economy 4.0 situation in ASEAN and the reskilling as well as upskilling strategy of the region, particularly Singapore.

According to Mr. Low, the world has changed a lot since the first ATM was launched in 1967 in London. The 60s and 70s were marked as the decades of important technological progress and became the first step towards digitalization. Mr. Low is a Member of the Board of European Technology Chamber (EUTECC), consequently, he has vast knowledge about the current situation of the world in terms of technology and digitalization.

Coming back to the present, we are gradually moving towards the period of Economy 4.0,a new situation that will open opportunities, unlock value to empower businesses and individuals, and maximize the organization’s assets. Nevertheless, with the rapid development of technology, the frontier of tasks between human and machines are gradually being blurred, leading to the transformation of the labor market. As a result, companies need to come up with a sustainable and wise solution in this disruptive process, which is re-skilling and up-skilling of its workforces. To be more specific, in order to unlock the positive vision of Economy 4.0, employees need to gain and improve appropriate skills that are required among industries under the impact of digitalization.

Among the skills mentioned by Mr. Low during the second part of his presentation, the first stage is the re-skilling of workforce.To achieve this, Mr. Low set the highest priority for education. Along with the transformation of the labor market there should be a dramatic change in the teaching methods as well. Consequently, Singapore now focuses more on teaching science, engineering, technology and math. In a business aspect, the country invests more in Research and Development departments.
Digging into the core of the re-skilling process, Mr. Low pointed out that digitalization leadership is the skill that needs to be adapted rapidly into the enterprise. Furthermore, discipline skill is also necessary for each worker in Economy 4.0 when humans are overwhelmed by machines.

Discussing the up-skilling process, micro-learning and educational training need to be inclusive and comprehensive. – Tuck Seng Low, EUTECC

In the perspective of ASEAN, the region has to face up with threats that lie beneath, including stress in advanced economy and coherent of society.
In conclusion, Economy 4.0 unlocks hidden opportunities but opens challenges for organizations and employees as well. If it can be managed wisely, the whole quality of jobs and human life will be well improved. Therefore, coming up with a sufficient long-term strategy for re-skilling and up-skilling workers is a question for the organization in not only the ASEAN region but also the whole world generally.

Read more about the Preparatory Seminar of exploreASEAN on their website!