Amid Prevalent Skills Mismatch, Workers with Skills Gaps Not Prioritised for Training

  • Skills mismatch continues to be the most prevalent form of mismatches (63%) according to business leaders
  • Workers with skills gaps are not the top priority for training (15%), as compared to workers with high potential (45%)

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 10 September 2021 –  As companies and workers transition into an endemic world, upskilling remains a key driver to build new capabilities and soar forward. According to business leaders however, skills mismatch continues to be the most prevalent form of mismatches (63%). This is in comparison to experience mismatch (18%), wages mismatch (17%), and expectations mismatch (2%). Business leaders also revealed that workers with skills gaps are not the top priority for training (15%), as compared to workers with high potential (45%).


These were some of the key findings from a recent labour research on the Future of Continuing Education and Training by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), in partnership with NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB). The research surveyed a total of 564 business leaders across industries in Singapore, such as Manufacturing, Information and Communications, Financial and Insurance Services, Wholesale and Retail Trade, and Professional Services.


In further upskilling high potential workers, 67% of employers claim that they offer talent development programmes in the form of job rotations (65%), cross-department collaborations (60%), and secondments to other departments or companies (47%). However, only one-fifth (26%) of business leaders consider more than 40% of their employees as “high-potential”. This implies that a significant portion of workers lose out on upskilling, as they are less prioritised to receive training.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC and Director, NTUC Strategy, says, “I’m happy that NTUC LHUB undertook this important research with NTUC’s Strategy Team. A workforce is as strong as its weakest link. To build resilience, companies must ensure that each and every one in their workforce is continuously ready for what is next. By raising the competency of the entire workforce, businesses enable themselves to build new capabilities, and remain relevant. At NTUC, we are continuously innovating to effectively help both companies and workers. Through our Training and Placement ecosystem, we will provide support through an integrated suite of customised and timely solutioning such as strategy planning, job matching, leadership development, and enabling funding of training and technology implementation.”

NTUC LHUB Chairman, Eugene Wong, comments, “When companies upskill their existing workforce, they are not only realising business value, but also improving engagement and retention of employees. Investing in employees also gives them the confidence to apply newly gained skills and knowledge to value-add to the organisation. For this reason, I strongly urge companies to relook  their training priorities to address the skills mismatch. At NTUC LHUB, we observe that many businesses require help in identifying skills gaps in their workforce. We always recommend them to embark firstly on a skills competency mapping or training needs analysis exercise, so they can close the skills gaps and invest in targeted upskilling strategies that will meet business objectives.”

About National Trades Union Congress

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions as well as a network of professional associations and partners across all sectors in Singapore. NTUC’s objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and working people remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of our members and working people; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC’s vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, ages and nationalities. NTUC is at the heart of the Labour Movement, which comprises 58 affiliated unions, five affiliated associations, 12 social enterprises, six related organisations as well as a growing ecosystem of U Associates and enterprise partners. For more details on NTUC, please visit our website at

About NTUC LearningHub

NTUC LearningHub is the leading Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore which aims to transform the lifelong employability of working people. Since our corporatisation in 2004, we have been working with employers and individual learners to provide learning solutions in areas such as Cloud, Infocomm Technology, Healthcare, Employability & Literacy, Business Excellence, Workplace Safety & Health, Security, Human Resources and Foreign Worker Training.

To date, NTUC LearningHub has helped over 25,000 organisations and achieved over 2.6 million training places across more than 500 courses with a pool of over 900 certified trainers. As a Total Learning Solutions provider to organisations, we also forge partnerships and offer a wide range of relevant end-to-end training solutions and work constantly to improve our training quality and delivery. In 2020, we have accelerated our foray into online learning with our Virtual Live Classes and, through working with best-in-class partners such as IBM, DuPont Sustainable Solutions and GO1, asynchronous online courses.

For more information, visit