Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) is proud to be appointed TAC Partner for the JSIT-Retail to help retail businesses transform, support business growth and help them grow stronger for the future whilst meeting the aspirations, needs and expectations of the retail workforce.
The SRA PowerUp Series with complimentary business diagnostic clinics & training workshops will provide retail companies with insights and resources to aid in its business & workforce transformation. The SRA PowerUp Series will function as a one-stop advisory service for retailers keen to embark on their transformation journey and connect with like-minded retail professionals, potential eco-system collaborators and industry peers for business growth and provide invaluable networking opportunities.
Job Skills Integrator for Retail (JSIT-R)
JTM to help employers and workers navigate a rapidly changing landscape
The Retail sector contributes S$7.3 billion1 to Singapore’s economy and employs more than 160,0002 workers, making up about 4.2% of the Singapore workforce in 2022. To ensure that the Retail sector can continue to attract and retain talent, as well as create quality jobs, a study was conducted to identify the future trends impacting the industry, as well as anticipate how future job roles and required skillsets must change to create new opportunities and meet evolving business needs.
Four key trends and areas of opportunity were identified:
- Consumer of the future – Shifts in consumer demands due to changes in lifestyle, preferences and awareness;
- Automation & data – Use of data analytics and advancements in retail technology that enable retailers to boost productivity and efficiency;
- Future-proof supply chain – Establish a resilient and agile supply chain to improve inventory management, provide more fulfilment options amid an increasingly complex and volatile supply chain environment.
The JTM report highlighted existing job roles that are likely to undergo medium or high degree of change such as sales associates and store managers. These roles will be transformed due to changes such as new technology and shifting consumer demands. For example, employees in such jobs spend a significant amount of time carrying out repetitive tasks. These tasks could be potentially automated with the aid of technologies like RFID in the near future.
To adapt to these trends and technological advances, a key recommendation in the JTM report is to transform the workforce through human capital development plans including training, job redesign and skills-based career progression pathways. Such efforts would enable employees to focus on more value-added work and plan their progression, which will in turn contribute to enterprises’ business growth.
For example, to provide their customers with a more seamless omni-channel experience, Commune Lifestyle had tapped on WSG’s Career Conversion Programme for the Retail Industry to reskill its retail and customer service associates. These employees learned how to use a cloud-based omni-channel platform to get a singular view of customer data from online to offline channels. Empowered with insights on the customers’ online browsing behaviours, they were able to personalise and enhance the physical retail experience for customers.
The report also identified nine emerging job roles such as product innovator and sustainability specialist, which would require emerging skillsets including brand storytelling, omni-channel management and green skills such as carbon footprint management. Some aspects of these emerging roles could also be merged with existing roles to create expanded job roles that encompass more value-adding tasks as many of the skills are transferable. This would create more well-rounded and larger jobs roles for workers who aspire to advance their career in retail.
Refer to Annex B for more information about existing and emerging job roles.
New JSIT rolled out for Retail Industry
The JSIT-R will help to close the gap in sector-specific job redesign and aggregation of skills needs for the industry through a three-pronged approach:
- Provide job redesign advisory to reskill existing workers based on the JTM to drive companies’ job redesign efforts;
- Aggregate the industry’s skills demands and work with training providers and Institutes of Higher Learning to curate relevant training and school curriculum by referencing required skills from the JTM; and
- Raise employee and jobseeker awareness of emerging and enhanced job roles, and work with partners to facilitate job matching and placement for jobseekers keen to enter the industry.
Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of Workforce Singapore said: “The retail industry is one that is ever evolving. To keep up with the latest trends and to build a pipeline of skilled manpower, there is an impetus for retail companies to embark on upskilling and job redesign to enhance the quality of jobs for talent attraction and retention. With SNEF and its partner NTUC as the JSIT-R intermediary, retail companies will be able to tap on other players in the retail ecosystem, including trade associations and chambers and training providers for their workforce transformation needs. WSG is confident that when these complementary components come together, the JSIT-R and JTM will give retail companies a greater boost to capture business opportunities, when backed by a skilled workforce.”
Ms Dilys Boey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Lifestyle and Consumer) of Enterprise Singapore said: “Many retailers are aware of the need to upskill their workforce and redesign job roles, so that they can better capitalise on emerging trends to grow their business. The JTM report provides valuable insights and practical recommendations to help them do so, and the JSIT-R will further provide retailers with the assistance that they would need to bridge the gaps. We are excited about the possibilities that these collective efforts would bring to accelerate the growth of our enterprises in this sector.”
Mr Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director of SNEF said: “Through the JTM, Retail employers can better redesign their jobs and develop their workforce to support their business transformation to remain relevant and sustainable amid changing consumer behaviours. As the JSIT-R, SNEF looks forward to work closely with our partners from the Government, the Labour Movement, Industry Associations, training providers and employers to create a vibrant Retail sector with a skilled workforce that will provide a delightful experience for consumers, both online and offline.”
Mr Desmond Tan, Deputy Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said: “NTUC is supportive of the Jobs Skills Integrator for Retail (JSIT-R). As part of our JSIT-R effort, the NTUC Training and Placement ecosystem, including NTUC LearningHub, will engage unionised companies and Company Training Committees (CTCs) to look into career development for the retail workforce to keep pace with changing and emerging job roles and skills requirements, so they continue to have access to opportunities for better wages and work prospects. With training a key driver in this initiative, we are glad that our training arm NTUC LearningHub will be playing its part in working with training providers to lead skills identification and develop relevant programmes to upskill and reskill the workforce to support the retail sector transformation.”
About Workforce Singapore
Workforce Singapore (WSG) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower that oversees the transformation of the local workforce and industry to meet ongoing economic challenges. WSG promotes the development, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and employability of all levels of the workforce to ensure all sectors of the economy are supported by a strong, inclusive Singaporean core. WSG, in partnership with key stakeholders also addresses the needs of enterprises by providing support to help them transform and remain competitive, while developing a future-ready talent pipeline to support industry growth and match the right people to the right jobs. Visit www.wsg.gov.sg for more information.
About Enterprise Singapore
Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups, and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.
SRA PowerUp Series: Business Diagnostic Clinic and Networking
SRA launched a series of PowerUp Clinics to provide you with the resources and insights to help transform your business. The first PowerUp Clinic and Networking session was held on Thursday 12 October 2023, 1:30pm to 6pm at Event Hall 1-2 @ Lifelong Learning Institute.