NUS, NTUC, SkillsFuture Singapore, Microsoft and LinkedIn to collaborate in harnessing big data and analytics to explore “skills gap” in local workforce

 |   Singapore News Center

From left: Nick O’Donnell, Director of Public Policy and Public Affairs at LinkedIn, Kevin Wo, Managing Director at Microsoft Singapore, Kishore Mahbubani, Dean at the LKY School, Sim Soo Kheng, Director of Research and Innovation (Institute for Adult Learning) at SkillsFuture Singapore, and Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General at NTUC

SINGAPORE, 20 June 2017 — A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (LKY School); National Trades Union Congress (NTUC); Institute for Adult Learning, SkillsFuture Singapore (IAL); Microsoft; and LinkedIn was inked today to collectively harness the power of big data, data analytics and research to explore the “skills gap” in today’s local workforce. The three-year MoU will combine the resources of the different institutions to shed light on a challenge that many governments face in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As technology continues to disrupt the economic, business and jobs landscape in the digital age, the ability to re-learn, re-skill and adapt to the constantly changing environment will be crucial for the workforce to remain relevant in tomorrow’s economy. To meet the changing demand for skills, more insights will be needed so that governments and industry can identify specific areas of need in the labour market and target their resources more effectively for education, training and upskilling.

Following the signing of the MoU, the LKY School will spearhead the research study. Working in tandem with NTUC, IAL and LinkedIn, the LKY School will analyse big data to generate insights on the current skills and employment landscape in Singapore. They will leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform for secure data storage, computation and analysis. Insights arising from the project will be used to help Singapore maximise workforce productivity, inform policy and enhance advocacy and training programmes.

“Globally, we are facing a technological revolution causing structural shifts in the way of work across disciplines. In Singapore, we face the additional challenge of a lean workforce with an ageing and declining population. On the ground, the Labour Movement has observed a rising incidence of jobs, skills and expectations mismatch in the workforce especially in early disrupted sectors and has bolstered efforts to prepare the workforce to take on the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. This meaningful collaboration is a further step in this direction. Alongside the challenges of the future of work, there are opportunities to be tapped and as stakeholders, we have to look ahead, plan for the future and leverage on each of our capabilities to work closer together for the benefit of our workers, our businesses, our economy and our society,” said Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress.

“Microsoft is excited at the potential of this collaboration to contribute to the collective goal of understanding the ‘skills gap’ in today’s local workforce. We believe that technology can empower individuals and organisations to address key societal challenges, and this collaboration is the perfect example of how technology can be applied to solve enduring problems and present new opportunities. By harnessing the power of data, advanced analytics and the cloud, we hope to better understand the emerging skills that are in demand and areas of upskilling that will allow our talent pool to stay relevant in the digital economy,” said Kevin Wo, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore.