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Singaporeans more anxious about needing to learn new skill sets rather than losing employment due to workplace automation

According to a survey 80% of Singaporeans said that automation aids in simplifying work processes and 75% said it helped with tasks that were repetitive, showing that automation wasn't the issue but learning new skills which would change the way they work was

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Singapore–A new report shows that workers in Singapore are more concerned about changes in their jobs rather than losing their jobs because of automation.

A survey conducted by ServiceNow shows a majority of respondents from Singapore saying that automation actually helped them in their work processes. Rather than being afraid of automation rendering their jobs obsolete, Singaporeans showed anxiety about the need to learn new processes or skill sets, which would force them to change the way they work, according to a report from ZDNet on April 30, Tuesday.

ServiceNow polled 304 Singaporean respondents, as part of a worldwide survey of 6,477 individuals from 12 markets, which include the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, India, and Germany.

On the whole, automation is seen in a positive light by Singaporean workers.

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Among the Singaporean respondents, 80 percent said that automation aids in simplifying work processes. Seventy-five percent said that automation replaces tasks that are repetitive, while 82 percent of Singapore workers reported process automation to have a positive impact on their personal productivity. Eighty-three percent of the respondents said that automation can make workplace efficiency even better, while 77 percent of respondents said that automation boosts productivity.

Moreover, compared to only 61 percent of global respondents with the same view, 71 percent of respondents from Singapore said automation would improve their firm’s competitiveness.

Showing how highly Singaporeans view automation, 58 percent of the country’s respondents said it gave greater opportunities for advancement, compared to only 44 percent worldwide. Additionally, 68 percent of respondents in Singapore said automation gave them more time for creativity, in comparison with the 59 percent who had the same view globally.

Generally speaking, the workers in Singapore who responded to the survey said they were not anxious about losing their jobs because of automation in the workplace.

However, their big concerns were the following:

—48 percent said they were anxious about needing to learn new skillsets or processes, as opposed to 37 percent globally

—48 percent also said they were anxious that these new skillsets and processes would force them to change the way they do their jobs, as opposed to 33 percent globally

Among respondents worldwide, 85 percent of workers who received good training reported that they adapted easily to workplace automation, but 39 percent reported that they believed they got an inferior level of training.

According to Mitch Young, ServiceNow’s Asia-Pacific Japan vice president and general manager, “People aren’t fearful of machines. Rather, they’re apprehensive about change. There is tremendous opportunity for companies to get ahead of their competition…by evolving the workforce for greater automation while ensuring excellent training and preparation of employees for adoption of digital workflows.”

Earlier this month, a study commissioned by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which was carried out by Ernst & Young, examined how data analytics and automation are likely to transform over one hundred different jobs in banking, capital markets, asset management and insurance over the next three to five years.

Staffers in financial institutions in about 40 roles, which include branch teller, trader, insurance claims examiner, and credit officer, are going to see their jobs change as technology substitutes a considerable number of tasks, which would mean possible convergence or perhaps even displacement.

Ng Nam Sin, the CEO of IBF said, ”Business transformation alone is not enough. We also need workforce transformation.”

Because of this, the Government is launching a ‘Technology in Finance Immersion Programme’ (TFIP), which offers training and other opportunities in cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, and full stack development. More than 70 positions across seven participating financial institutions are available for application.

The CEO of Workforce Singapore, Tan Choon Shian, said, “The TFIP opens up new avenues for mid-career Singaporeans keen to pick up new skills and convert to new careers in tech job roles in the financial services sector. By providing meaningful on-the-job training with leading banks in Singapore, this will help mid-career individuals build up their essential skill sets in the respective technology areas.”/TISG

Read related: Humans not needed in world’s number one airport – Singapore’s Changi Airport is at the top of the automation game 

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