Singapore among World’s Most Talent Competitive Countries

Technology creates new jobs while eliminating some others. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty puts it, we are now challenged to create “New” collar jobs but filling those roles is becoming the next talent challenge.


INSEAD has released its latest 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), where Singapore further consolidated its position as a world-leading country in its ability to grow, attract and retain talent.

Whether you’re a global business-owner, or growing a business with regional aspirations, benchmarking the report helps you in making decisions about strategies that boost your talent competitiveness.



The “New” Collar Economy


Technological advancement has come a long way, particularly in the past decade or so. To a certain extent, jobs are being displaced by machines but technology is also creating new opportunities. With an eye for the future (Dell names Singapore as Asia’s most future-ready economy), the government of Singapore has invested heavily both in technology and training of its highly educated workforce. In fact, the city-state has once again emerged as the most innovative economy in Asia, according to the latest 2016 Global Innovation Index (GII) released by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Expert studies like McKinsey Global Institute has suggested that about 20% of jobs could see some 70% of their activities being automated. Tech is creating jobs, as well as destroying them. However at the moment, there is still a massive disconnect between new skills needed by these “New collar” workers, with prevailing skills that current employees possess.


The next-generation workplace is taking on different forms – Singapore employers will need to understand the complications that come with more contingent and project-based work; and talents need to constantly upgrade themselves. Thankfully, Singapore business owners are benefiting from the government’s generous support over employee trainings and workforce upgrading initiatives.


How does the small city-state of Singapore compete


As observed in the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index report, Singapore has led the way in attracting and enabling its global talent pool thanks to a dynamic ecosystem to talent development amid technological changes. Not that long ago, Singapore has been ranked No.1 in Asia in Global Startup Ecosystem ranking by Compass Co.


Leading the way in employee training and talent development has been the Ministry of Manpower, the Workforce Development Agency, and the Infocomm Development Agency (IDA). These agencies work together to help SMEs, encouraging productivity enhancement of various sort and automation to drive new possibilities. For instance, this SPRING CDG grant subsidizes small businesses that are looking to upgrade their infrastructure and technology. Accompanied by other government grants (you may reference more here), much progression has been made by small businesses and government agencies alike in recent years in augmenting their workers with technology.

The forward-looking education system has also ticked a big box in the latest GTCI assessment. Children is taught coding classes at a very early age, and teachers are given 100 hours of training per annum with digital materials.



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Doing business in Singapore

Despite with a small population of just above 5.5 million (at time of writing), Singapore has long been the regional hub of South East Asia and ASEAN, home to 600-mllion people. According to KPMG's tax survey of 2015, Singapore companies enjoy a lower corporate tax bracket than most OECD countries, at 17%.


Besides a business-friendly headline tax rate for corporates, the government is also giving generous tax breaks for start-ups. For your first 3 years of operations, you can enjoy tax-free status for your first S$100,000 of taxable income.


If you are interested in knowing more about doing business in Singapore, or various corporate training and government subsidy schemes offered, please feel free to visit our business blog here.



Want to know more about Singapore's ecosystem for startups and how to get a permanent residency in Singapore? Check out our most popular guides below.