betty July 13, 2022

SINGAPORE – Bosses dealing with the oft-tricky issue of career planning for older workers have a new source of advice they can turn to.

The Structured Career Planning guidebook released on Wednesday (July 13) gives employers a framework to implement a process to engage staff on career and skills development.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon noted at the launch that the initiative is vital to support Singapore’s ageing workforce – around 25 per cent of resident workers are over 55 – and ensure that older people are prepared for longer careers.

“If we look at a worker who starts working in his early 20s, and retires at 65 years old, by the time he is a mature worker at 45, he is only halfway through his career,” he noted.

“So the real challenge is not in raising the retirement age, but in making sure that our workers continue to reskill themselves, in order to remain relevant to business and industry needs.”

Dr Koh added that the best way to do this is for employers to talk to staff at regular points in their careers to help them develop the skills they need.

This is where the guide comes in, as it helps bosses to start these conversations in a structured manner from the time a worker turns 45.

It provides a checklist for workers to state their priorities as they mature, such as whether they want the same job role, expect the same income and if they have other concerns.

Dr Koh said: “The structured career planning process has also encouraged employees to adopt a growth mindset and to take ownership of their own career development.

“It is this joint initiative taken by both employers and employees that will be our secret ingredient for success as the economy transforms and businesses pivot into new growth sectors.”

The guidebook was launched by the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) in partnership with the Ministry of Manpower. SNEF also collaborated with companies to pilot the guide.

Several companies participated in the pilot, including St Luke’s ElderCare, a healthcare provider with over 700 staff, of whom 35 per cent are over the age of 55.