Singapore, 22 May 2013 -- Business leaders globally are calling for governments to prioritise initiatives that help foster a skilled workforce, as more than half of CEOs around the world (58%) say a lack of key skills is hampering their growth prospects.
A global PwC survey of over 1,300 CEOs reveals that business leaders see the availability of key skills as the second biggest threat to their business growth, just after the increasing tax burden (63%). CEOs in Africa (82%), the Middle East (69%) and Asia-Pacific (64%) are the most concerned about the lack of key skills.
The research shows businesses across the globe are looking to government to help them plug this skills gap. More than half of CEOs (57%) said that creating and encouraging a skilled workforce should be the government’s highest priority for business for the year ahead.
Tackling the talent challenge is also an area on which CEOs plan to focus, with 61% planning to increase investment in their workforce over the next three years.
The research reveals that, globally, mining, energy, and engineering and construction companies report the most chronic shortage of skilled employees.
In Singapore, the key sectors that show a talent shortage are mainly in the services industry such as food & beverage and hospitality, as well as in construction, and in certain sectors within the financial services industry.
Alywin Teh, Partner and Consulting Leader, PwC Singapore comments:
“In Singapore, we are facing the same talent challenges that the study shows is a huge area of concern globally. Certain programmes and government funded incentive schemes such as the *Enterprise Training Support (ETS) scheme – a new scheme jointly developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that aims to help companies increase workers’ productivity and other skills levels – are a way to address the issue that local organisations are finding it harder and harder to retain talent across almost all sectors.
The government is recognising this, and the recent announcement that it plans to boost local talent in the financial services industry is a positive sign. This indicates that whilst development of a skilled workforce remains a critical challenge, we are taking steps to tackle this talent crunch.”
The research reveals businesses are planning to hire this year, with more businesses planning to increase their headcount (45%) than make cuts (23%) globally. 28% of CEOs expect their headcount to remain relatively static. The Asia Pacific results echo this, with 66% of CEOs in India, 36% in Hong Kong and China, and 28% in Japan indicating that they expect to increase headcount.
Among the other findings of the research:
Notes to editor
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* For more information on the Enterprise Training Support scheme, please visit
Alan Lee, PwC LLP Singapore (Tel:+65 6236 3961 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Candy Li, PwC LLP Singapore (Tel: +65 6236 7429 Mobile: +65 8613 8820
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)