With Singapore experiencing a new “normal”, marked by slower economic growth, changing demographic patterns, global volatility and the emergence of disruptive technologies are forcing us to change the way we work and organise our lives. Given the increasingly unpredictable environment, are the students of today sufficiently prepared to face the future?
On 8 February 2017, Dr Lim Lai Cheng, Executive Director at SMU Academy; Academic Director at the Office of the Provost & Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University (SMU), discussed new and emerging job roles and the government and industries’ strategies in the face of such an environment.
Dr Lim first talked about the local and global developments that are contributing to growing uncertainties Singapore and its citizens are affected by. In particular, Dr Lim discussed how the megatrend of disruptive technologies are influencing consumption patterns and enable companies to change the way they operate in order to remain competitive. Disruptive technological innovations are predicted to lead to job losses and pose threats to industries especially when current job roles can be more efficiently performed through automation.
Dr Lim highlighted that such developments mean there are new job roles which require skilled professionals. Schools and institutions would then need to re-skill the existing workforce and prepare students for jobs that do not exist yet. She then discussed two broad recommendations regarding future learning: hone learning to learn skills and be part of the creator-led economy.
She then addressed the audience’s questions on how schools are preparing students and learning.