Singapore-Companies need to invest in skills development and foster a continuous learning culture to retain key talent.

Dean Tong, managing director of the UOB and head of the Group’s Human Resources Division, said we need to adapt to technological changes.

For the financial services sector, he added, that means responding to the growth of artificial intelligence and the automation of blockchain.

Demand for specific skill sets such as data analysis is also increasing in this sector, he said in a panel discussion at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Lifelong Learning Festival on Tuesday (July 19).

Mr. Ton said: “How do you survive and prosper in this new environment? It leads to the ability to attract talent and re-skill talent with the abilities needed in the future.”

UOB has also developed courses to help employees embrace continuous learning and learn high-demand skills such as project management.

“These are high-demand areas within the enterprise that are difficult to adopt from technology markets such as data analytics and project management,” he added.

The one-day NUS event was held at the Kentridge Show Foundation Alumni House.

The panel discussion was also attended by Professor Fong Kok Yong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Medical and Clinical Services at SingHealth, and Frank Koo, Head of Human Resources and Learning Solutions in Asia at LinkedIn.

The discussion also touched on what organizations must do to help workers meet future demands in the labor market.

In healthcare, it is essential to keep up with technological advances, but soft skills such as good communication with patients are also important, Professor Fung said.

Koo also said that how employee expectations have changed, and the lack of career advancement and growth opportunities is the number one reason employees leave the company.

He said organizations that can provide opportunities for growth and development are attracting talent.

“Last year, we’ve made a lot more investment in talent skills and skills up than before,” he said.

Koo added that 94% of employees said in a survey that they would consider staying longer in an organization that offers development opportunities.

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