New report on Singapore’s skills system

‘Skills for the Future: Analyses of Singapore’s Graduate Labour Market and its Upper Secondary Education and Training System’.

At the heart of this report lies a fundamental issue for successful modern economies: how to ensure that all the workforce have adequate, growing skills, while also minimising the risks that some workers’ skills become underutilised.

Education systems vary greatly in how effective they are at generating the skills needed. Many systems result in undesirably high skills inequalities among 15-year-old school children and later among adults. Among those young people who succeed in education and gain university degrees, many fail to gain employment in graduate jobs, spending years in low-level jobs that do not make use of the skills they have acquired. The problem of “graduate under-employment” has been rising, both in Europe and in many East Asian systems where forceful drivers towards expanded participation in higher education have not been checked either by market forces or by government controls.

Singapore has been of long-standing interest worldwide for those interested in skills issues. This small city state has broadly succeeded over decades in maintaining a balance between the skills demanded in the economy at successive stages in its development and the skills being supplied through schools, polytechnics and workplace training, supplemented by a substantial segmented migrant workforce. Singapore also stands out for the successes of its school system, with the pupils in its schools being ranked among the highest globally in skills tests.

This report aims to make two specific contributions towards a better understanding of Singapore’s overall skills system. The first part seeks to understand the utilisation of rapidly rising graduate skills in Singapore. In the second part, the report seeks to contribute new understanding surrounding upper secondary education and training. 

Click here to download the full reports: 

‘Skills for the Future: Analyses of Singapore’s Graduate Labour Market and its Upper Secondary Education and Training System’

PDF icon Final Report

PDF icon Non-Technical Report

Funding and support for this project was provided by the Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Science