Singapore long-term socio-economic sustainability

For decades (if not centuries), several countries have been searching for the ideal socioeconomic formula for neither the labor force nor the productive fabric to fall into lethal technological obsolescence. On the other hand, in the context of exponential technological progress that we are witnessing today, this danger is more tangible today than ever before in economic history.

But there has been a country that, even assuming it has not found such a definitive formula, we can say without much margin of error that at least it has been the country that has come closest to it. It has not been a Nordic country, nor Germany, nor the United States… it is Singapore. And yes, the progress they have made on the issue we are analyzing today makes you very (but very) envious (healthy), to the point that they should be a clear example for other countries to follow.

From the (somewhat) updated training of the classrooms, to the labor market with its particular drift

It is true that on the one hand there are universities and colleges, and also that the education sector faces dilemmas such as the fact that technology is changing so rapidly today that, from the time a class begins to train, until it graduates and is ready to enter the labor market, it has taken forever in terms of innovation.

As a result, it is becoming common to see how newly graduated graduates are already largely out of date technologically, at least as far as the latest technologies are concerned. The technology market is progressing so quickly today that it is almost impossible for many companies, or even universities, to keep up with it.

This is therefore a very relevant problem that our socioeconomies must address, and about which we have spoken on previous occasions, such as in the analysis “When the digital economy brings inequality and precariousness”.

To the shortcomings of the current educational and training framework, we must add the drift of a labor market that, for the most part and except for a few lucky ones, condemns a large part of its employees to continue working with technologies that are becoming obsolete in the market, just because they are still briefly useful to the company.

And when the company in question has no choice but, for reasons of mere survival, to make the leap to a new technology, it must often resort to external personnel or, worse, hire new personnel trained in the new and disruptive technology, leaving the employees who are often not recycled on the tightrope.

And for the record, I have already pointed out (and I insist on it again) that this dark scenario is only valid in (always) too many cases, and that there are only a few lucky employees, in companies that take the most disruptive innovation as their banner, who can benefit from job training that is literally priceless. For the rest, all that is left is one’s own self-motivation, one’s own efforts in one’s personal life, and one’s own professional interest, to avoid falling into obsolescence, and in the end to avoid falling into labor disuse.

But in Singapore they seem to have found the magic potion for this great labor

But the truth is that not all countries suffer from the same fate that we are facing in Spain and other countries. The truth is that there are not only countries where the fundamental premise of every government, business or social decision is to do things right, but also countries that have a great sense of collective responsibility and also take into account what is best for the country as a whole.

I suppose that, after the previous paragraph, you will be wondering who the reckless country might be with economic and social leaders who still dare to worry about the common good, and I guess you will also suffer from a logical mix of confused feelings halfway between curiosity and (healthy, or perhaps even unhealthy) envy.

Well, both feelings are totally justified, because the case we are going to tell you is worthy of envy (at least of the healthy one). The country in question is Singapore. A unique country, with a vocation for progress infiltrated in all social layers and leaders, and about which we have already told you about its visionary trajectory of transformation of its productive model.

But now Singapore has given new reasons to talk about them as a country of the future at all socioeconomic levels. And on this occasion it is because of how it is already facing the new scenario of the need for continuous transformation of its productive fabric and its workforce, especially important in the current context of continuous and exponential technological revolution.

The way in which they have tackled this new challenge in this admirable Asian country has been with their policy of “second-skilling”. And we cannot deny them the suitability of the Singaporean solution to a key problem facing all countries.

The basis of this policy, as its name suggests, is to promote the acquisition of new skills and knowledge among its citizens even if they are active in the labor market. In doing so, the Asian city-state is strongly committed to having a workforce that is both flexible and active. Clearly, if this is not a panacea, it is quite similar.