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Survey: Singapore companies not investing enough in staff

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Most companies in Singapore are not investing enough in their workers, with only 12 per cent putting money on better training for their employees, according to a survey.

At the same time, almost one-third of them said the task of training their workers in digital skills is a major concern, topped by the lack of suitable manpower with technological expertise, a shortage highlighted by about 40 per cent of the companies.

But the No. 1 challenge they face is getting people with the right skills and attitude, with almost two-thirds of large companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) saying so.

These findings, released yesterday, are from the latest National Business Survey involving 705 local and foreign companies, of which 88 per cent are SMEs.

It was done from September to December last year for the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

Responding to the findings, SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng, who runs Pacific International Lines, urged businesses to invest more resources in continual training so that employees can deepen their skills and keep pace with fast-changing technologies.

The continued challenge of getting workers with digital skills last year reflects the focus on innovation, which is increasingly a top priority among local businesses.

About one-third of the companies said they are using a greater number of new technologies while more than half have implemented innovations.

Companies see innovation as crucial across all aspects of business, including customer experience (88 per cent), operational processes (88 per cent) business models (87 per cent) and new products or services (85 per cent).

Hence, developing digital business capabilities is a key priority this year. - THE STRAITS TIMES