Changes to Skill Composition of Jobs in the Singapore Economy (2012-2022)
A. Tagging job posting data (2012-2022) to Singapore Standard Occupational
Job posting data was tagged to the latest SSOC 2020, and at SSOC level 3, to distinguish between different types of job roles while avoiding overly granular analysis.
B. Tagging job posting data (2012-2022) to the Singapore Skills Taxonomy
Apps & Tools
The SST is a hierarchical classification system that is used to define, categorise, and organise skills according to their corresponding knowledge and abilities. The primary purpose of the SST is to systematically define, organise and communicate the most relevant clusters of in-demand skills needed and to provide clarity and structure around the skills required for the workplace. For analysis, we used SST level 1 which has 10 clusters to help readers quickly understand the landscape of skills. Beyond skills, Apps & Tools are also critical enablers to perform work. SSG has identified about 900 Apps & Tools from job posting data. The 10 SST level 1 clusters and the Apps & Tools cluster constitute the 11 clusters in our analysis.
C. Performing data analysis
Each cluster was normalised by dividing the total count of skills or Apps & Tools that belong to the cluster based on job postings in a given year, by the total count of skills or Apps & Tools from all 11 clusters based on job postings in the same year. The result is each cluster represented as a share that indicates its relative importance for a given type of job (SSOC), or its relative importance in Singapore’s economy. The hiring demand is calculated by grouping the job postings related to a given type of job.
In this chapter, data from three years (2012, 2017, and 2022) was highlighted to show the changes in skills by comparing the beginning year of the data, the middle year of the data before COVID-19, and the end year of the data during the COVID-19 recovery. The top 10 demanded skills or Apps & Tools for each cluster were analysed across the three years to show how individual skills have become more important or less important over time.
The 11 clusters are: Business Management, Production Management, Innovative Design, Data Management, Human Resources, Care Services, Operations Management, Financial Management, Environmental Management, Critical Core Skills, and Apps & Tools.
Priority Skills in the Three Economies: Green, Digital and Care
A. Definition of priority skills
Priority skills refer to skills that citizens can prioritise to gain access and thrive in specific sectors. These skills were derived from SSG’s National Jobs-Skills Intelligence engine and validated with expert input from industry, academia, and sector agencies. In the various charts within this chapter, SSG chose to spotlight skills whose demand grew in recent years, rather than just skills with a large existing demand. The spotlighted skills are more likely to see shortages now and in the near future.
B. Measurement of demand growth and transferability of priority skills Demand growth for a given priority skill refers to the growth in employers’ demand for the skill as reflected in job postings over four calendar years. Growth in employers’ demand for a given priority skill is then computed as the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of job postings that mentioned the skill. If two priority skills, ‘S1’ and ‘S2’, are mentioned in a single job posting, the job posting will be counted twice, once under ‘S1’ and once under ‘S2’ to compute the respective CAGR. If a priority skill is mentioned more than once in a single job posting, the job posting will only be counted once under that priority skill to compute the CAGR. In this report, demand growth is calculated using CAGR based on job postings from 2019 to 2022.
Transferability for a given priority skill refers to the number of unique job roles that require the skill. SSG spotlighted highly transferable skills as, all things being equal, these skills would contribute the most to an individual’s career versatility. A job role is deemed to require a skill when job postings for that job role mention the skill. In computing the number of unique job roles, a job role is counted only once even when there are multiple job postings for the job role. In this segment, transferability is aggregated based on job postings from 2019 to 2022.
C. Measurement of yearly market share and yearly
Yearly Market Share of a given priority skill refers to the relative demand of the skill as compared to the entire demand of all the skills for its respective economy. This allows us to determine how valuable a skill is as compared to the other skills within the economy.
Yearly Transferability of a given priority skill refers to the number of unique job roles that require the skill that year. In this segment, transferability is calculated year by year based on job postings from 2019 to 2022.
D. Forecasting skills’ demand and transferability
A time series regression with univariate forecasting using Meta’s Prophet model was used on 11 years of job posting data to predict a skills’ future demand and transferability. Only skills that are within acceptable R21 and Symmetric Mean Average Percentage Error (SMAPE)2 values are featured in the chapter as they are within model fit and prediction accuracy thresholds.
1R2 refers to the coefficient of determination which indicates how well
the data points fit with the model.
2SMAPE is an accuracy measure based on relative errors that informs how close a forecasted value matches the actual value.
Career Mobility Planning: a Multi-step Approach
A. Identification of growth job roles suitable for career transition
Growth job roles are job roles that are increasingly in-demand or have seen high demand growth between 2019 to 2022. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 3 is used to calculate the demand growth of job posting numbers for each job role. Using the CAGR of all job postings from 2019 to 2022 as a baseline (65%), job roles with an average CAGR of 65% and above were deemed to reflect a reasonable growth and demand.
These in-demand, high-growth job roles are then filtered through a two-step approach to assess:
- Job roles that have more entry level positions suitable for career transitioners – these are job roles where more than 50% of the job postings analysed indicate applicants with three years of experience or less as the minimum years of experience needed and;
- Job roles that have required proficiency levels of technical skills which are more attainable – these are defined as job roles with an average skill proficiency level below 4.0 which indicates that the level of technical skills required are relatively easy to attain for career transitioners.
This figure shows the methodology and process flow that was applied to job posting data to derive the growth job roles that are more accessible for career transitioners to move into.
Process flow to identify accessible growth job roles
B. Identification of adjacent job roles and growth job roles that one can
Adjacent job roles are job roles that may have a relatively smoother transition into growth job roles for career transition.
These roles were shortlisted using the SSG’s jobs-skills adjacency algorithm, with the following three-step approach:
- Determine job roles with a similar level of technical expertise where the average proficiency level difference is within +/- 1
- Identify job roles with a percentage difference in minimum wage compared to the growth role higher than -25% (where applicable)
- Identify job roles with a similarity score of at least 0.5. Job role similarity of 0.5 and above is deemed to reflect reasonable similarity between two job roles (i.e.: destination job role is adjacent). A job role similarity of less than 0.5 reflects bold moves that may require more effort to move into the growth job role.
3 CAGR is the average annual growth rate over a specified period of time longer than one year. It represents one of the most accurate ways to calculate anything that can rise or fall in value over time.
Glossary and Acknowledgments
|Adjacent job role(s)||One or more job role(s) with high job role similarity as compared to the job role in question, and may entail a relatively smoother job transition|
|Apps & Tools||Digital and technology solutions programs, in software or app formats, that help people complete tasks more efficiently and effectively|
|Care Economy||An economy that is based on a professional cluster of jobs and skills focused on providing the care and support services involved in the nurturing and teaching of current and future populations|
|Compound annual growth rate (CAGR)||The average annual growth rate over a specified period of time longer than one year. It represents one of the most accurate ways to calculate anything that can rise or fall in value over time.|
|Critical Core Skills||A unique set of 16 core skills identified by Singapore employers as the most critical to thrive in the future economy|
|Demand growth||Demand growth for a given priority skill refers to the growth in employers’ demand for the skill as reflected in job postings over four calendar years|
|Digital Economy||An economy that is based on digital computing technologies, based on interconnecting people, organisations, and machines through the Internet, mobile technology, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT)|
|Green Economy||An economy that strives to achieve environmental, economic, and social outcomes to take care of the environment and use limited resources as efficiently and sustainably as possible|
|Growth job role||A job that is increasingly in-demand or has seen high demand growth over the period of analysis (between 2019 to 2022)|
|Industry 4.0||The exploitation of technological advancements, particularly in the digital space, to make step improvements in process efficiency, sustainability, and product or service quality|
|Job family||Used in SSG's research on changes to skill compositions, a job family is a job grouping related by common job roles. Job roles in a job family require similar knowledge, skills, and abilities; and have a continuum of knowledge, skills, and abilities|
|Priority skills||Skills that citizens can prioritise to gain access and thrive in specific sectors. These skills were derived from SSG’s National Jobs-Skills Intelligence engine and validated with expert input from industry, academia, and sector agencies|
|Singapore Skills Taxonomy (SST)||The SST is SSG's hierarchical classification system that is used to define, categorise, and organise skills according to their corresponding knowledge and abilities|
|Skills composition||The changing portfolio of skills needed in jobs over time|
|Skill demand growth||Demand growth that captures the relative scale of the increase in demand for that skill|
|Symmetric mean absolute percentage error (SMAPE)||An accuracy measure based on relative errors that informs how close a forecasted value matches the actual value|
|Tech-heavy||Tech-heavy roles are specialised roles responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications|
|Tech-lite||Tech-lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work|
|Transferability||Transferability for a given priority skill refers to the number of unique job roles that require the skill|
|Yearly market share||The yearly market share of a given priority skill refers to that skill's relative demand, as compared to the entire demand of all the skills, for its respective economy|
|Yearly transferability||Yearly transferability of a given priority skill refers to the number of unique job roles that require the skill that year|
We would like to express our gratitude to the following organisations and individuals for sharing their ideas in this publication:
- Anthony Chew, Chief Core Skills Officer, NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd
- Angeline Chiang, Principal Career Coach, Workforce Singapore
- Dr Ramesh Tarani, Skills Ambassador, Lifelong Learning Institute
- Grace Lam, Director, Seraphcorp Institute Pte Ltd
- Evan Law, Assistant Chief Executive, Accountancy Sector Development Group, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
- Claire Lim, Head of Business Development, Capelle Consulting Pte Ltd
- Benjamin Mah, Co-Chairman, SGTech Talent Committee
- Rajat Maheshwari, Vice President, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions, Asia Pacific Mastercard Asia Pacific Limited
- Lynette Ong, Chief Operating Officer, Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- Nirmala Palaysamy, Deputy Director, Public Service Division, Prime Minister's Office
- Sim Cher Wee, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, Mobility and Immigration, Micron Technology
- Tan Chee Keong, Principal Career Coach, Workforce Singapore
- Dr Ruby Toh, Principle Researcher/ Senior Lecturer, Singapore University of Social Science, Institute for Adult Learning
- Jeremiah Wong, Lead Career Developer, Avodah People Solutions
- Jacqueline Yeung, Career Developer, Avodah People Solutions
- Ong Yi Ling, Career Developer, Avodah People Solutions
- Generation Singapore Pte Ltd
- Health Management International Pte Ltd
- Ernst & Young Pte Ltd
- Herbal Pharm Pte Ltd
And to the following individuals for sharing their personal stories:
- Carol Wong
- Chua Wan Ting
- Elango Angayar Kanni
- Hazel Xie
- Jumahat bin Leman
- Chua Kiat Leong
- Kung Teong Wah
- Tanya Sng
We would also like to express our thanks to the following organisations for their joint-effort in leading sectoral transformation, and driving talent-and-skills strategies in their respective sector:
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Agency for Integrated Care, Building and Construction Authority, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, DesignSingapore Council, Early Childhood Development Agency, Energy Market Authority, Enterprise Singapore, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Institute for Adult Learning, Institute for Human Resource Professionals, The Institute of Banking & Finance Singapore, The Institution of Engineers, Singapore, Land Transport Authority, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Monetary Authority of Singapore, National Arts Council, National Environment Agency, National Library Board, Public Service Division, SGTech, Singapore Accountancy Commission, Singapore Computer Society, Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore Food Agency, Singapore Tourism Board, Workforce Singapore
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