A new skills framework has been launched to help Singaporeans pick up design, one of the most coveted skills here today

The Skills Framework for Design will provide information on 25 job roles in the design sector across four career tracks.
The Straits Times

The fourth industrial revolution is here, and Singaporean workers are well aware that they need to upskill to make sure they are relevant in the digital age.

A recent LinkedIn survey of over 1,000 workers here found that the most popular new skills among Singaporeans over the past five years all revolved around blockchain development, workflow automation and human-centred design – which involves optimising products and services for human users, such as graphic design, product design, and user experience.

But the survey also found that many Singaporeans found time and cost the biggest obstacles to obtaining these new skills.

On Wednesday (July 24), a new skills framework was launched by DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) with SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore to help alleviate some of the common issues Singapore’s workers face when seeking to arm themselves with design skills of the future. 

The Skills Framework for Design will provide information on 25 job roles in the design sector across four career tracks, namely: design, business, innovation and technology.

Through the framework, individuals and businesses can find out more about the work functions, key tasks, and skills each job role requires.

For example, when someone looking for a job as a content strategist refers to the design framework, they would find out that work functions they have to perform include developing content strategies for projects and managing copywriting projects.

The framework also lists out the technical skills – such as conceptual thinking and visual communication – and generic skills like problem solving and decision making one needs to fulfill the role of a content strategist.

In addition, the framework will also provide information on the relevant training programmes required for the different job roles.

Can be used by employers and training providers too

In a press release, Dsg said that the national resource would not only benefit individuals, but employers and training providers as well.

While employers can use it to invest in employee training to maintain a strong talent pool, training providers will be able to gather insights about sector trends to design programmes that address industry needs, Dsg said.

As part of Dsg’s broader Design Industry Manpower Plan, the framework will help to “prepare and nurture a design-empowered workforce of the future that can apply design-led approaches to solve complex issues, across sectors”, it said.

Demand for design professionals growing

According to Dsg, seven organisations – including global companies and small and medium-sized enterprises – have already committed to adopting the framework.

But that may not be enough, as between 2017 and 2022, the number of design professionals in Singapore is expected to grow by more than 12,000, Dsg said.

And by 2022, for every design job in design services firms, there will be 1.8 design jobs in non-design firms such as technology, financial services and business consulting companies, it added.

At the launch, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that a design-empowered workforce was important for Singapore to stay resilient against changing economic demands.  

He added that the design framework can help Singapore grow “a design-empowered workforce and build a robust, innovation-driven economy”.

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