Singaporeans require better learning to succeed in the workplace, says study

by L&D29 Mar 2016
Singaporeans are underprepared for their careers in the workplace, a finding which further highlights the importance of lifelong learning, according to a new study from Canvas (a learning management system created by the company Instructure).
Indeed, just 9.5% of former and current students "strongly agreed" that they were equipped with the skills needed for their workplace, and only 7% said that they were provided with career-relevant experience at the tertiary level. 

On a scale defining 100% as "fully prepared”, current and former students in Singapore reported that the country's tertiary education system prepares them for their careers at 65%.
Moreover, 66% of current students in Singapore said that they were satisfied with their tertiary education learning environment. This was the lowest amongst all the nations surveyed. Singapore were followed by China (68%), Turkey (69%) and Sweden (69%).

The research looked at 14 countries and how well the students were prepared for their careers.
The Singapore government is presently investing more than $1 billion a year from 2015 to 2020 in lifelong learning under its SkillsFuture program.

"Findings from this study echoes the Singapore governments call for working adults to embrace the concept of lifelong learning," said Troy Martin, director of Canvas Asia Pacific.

"Increasingly, the government is nudging tertiary institutions in Singapore to develop continuing education courses for working adults. But, instilling lifelong learning also begins in schools where teachers need to teach students to teach themselves."

The study also found that just two out of five (40%) students in Singapore said lifelong learning is an important goal of their tertiary education institution and that those who implement it rely heavily on the internet. The most common form of informal learning the study found was the use of social media.

“We live in a world where knowledge is quickly outdated and professional fields constantly change,” said Jared Stein, VP of research and education at Instructure.

Therefore, from a young age, Singaporeans must gain career-relevant skills and develop their capacity for lifelong learning, Stein added.