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Jobs Situation Report 27th Edition

The 27th Jobs Situation Report highlights key trends that are impacting businesses and jobs in the Wholesale Trade (WST) sector and the avenues that employers and workers can take to prepare themselves for the future of work.


Transformation of the Wholesale Trade Sector


  1. Trade is an essential pillar of Singapore’s economy. In 2020, the WST sector contributed to 16.8% of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generating S$75.3 billion in value. The WST sector is a highly diverse industry comprising about 50,000 companies and employing close to 10% (300,000) of our workforce.


  2. Changing consumer demand, advancement in technologies and a heightened focus on sustainability in recent years are transforming the global marketplace and trading activities. COVID-19 has also accelerated these changes. Rising trends in the sector include:


    1. Evolving operating models to meet new business needs and changing customer expectations. One example is the rise in B2B omni-channel strategies, which integrates both traditional and digital sales and marketing channels to create seamless customer experience across brands and offer a more engaging and personalised trade experience.


    2. Accelerating adoption of digital tools. The rise in technology adoption and digitalisation has unlocked new growth opportunities for companies in this sector. It has also resulted in the increased need for companies to look for ways to improve efficiency and productivity across their value chain. Technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence and business intelligence applications are shifting the way companies operate.


    3. Growing significance of data analytics. Data-driven decision making is expected to become the norm, as data analytics becomes more prevalent in marketing and business development, trading and risk and regulations roles.


    4. Rising focus on sustainable practices. Environmental, Social and Governance considerations will influence product offerings, business processes and partnerships. It is expected to influence the function of jobs in areas such as risk management, regulation and control, procurement and operations.


    New Jobs Transformation Map (JTM) to help employers and workers navigate rapidly changing landscape


  3. Enterprise Singapore (ESG), with support from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), worked with Willis Towers Watson (WTW) to develop the JTM for the WST sector. This is the fourth JTM launched to date, with 11 more being developed to cover more sectors[1]. Each JTM provides a useful compass for employers and workers to prepare for and seize new opportunities as their sectors transform.


  4. For the WST JTM, ESG and WTW worked with organisations in the WST sector (both MNCs and SMEs) to conduct a landscape review using Artificial Intelligence, interviews and surveys to identify how emerging trends, such as those identified above, will impact the sector over the next three to five years.


  5. With the JTM, companies can anticipate the transformation to key jobs within the sector over the next three to five years as well as adopt recommended strategies to enhance the competitiveness and capabilities of their talent pool to supportbusiness transformation efforts. This is particularly important, as businesses in WST prepare for the following changes to job roles:


    1. Emergence of new or significantly different roles;


    2. Jobs redesigned to include enhanced scope or responsibilities;

    3. Jobs at risk of being displaced or merged with other jobs roles

    (A) Emerging jobs and capabilities required in WST sector


  6. New jobs will emerge to address business needs and challenges. In most cases, the use of data analytics and adoption of new technologies will drive the need for these new job roles. For example, Supply Chain Performance Managers are expected to combine functional knowledge along with an understanding of data analytics to help organisations make timely and data-driven decisions. Roles linked to the green economy are also expected to grow in demand. Relevant jobs include Sustainability Managers and Sustainable Sourcing Managers.


    (B) Changes to jobs in WST sector


  7. Of the 53 job roles studied, more than eight in 10 existing job roles are expected to undergo a medium or high degree of change, and new job roles will emerge. Some examples of how common job roles in different domains are expected to transform in coming years as well as the skills that workers should acquire to prepare for the future include:

     Job Roles Changes to Job Roles   New skills required 
    Marketing and Business Development

    Examples of roles:

    • Marketing Coordinator
    • Business Analyst
    • Market Research Analyst

    • Increase focus on digital strategies
    • Drive customer intimacy by leveraging on real-time data
    • Data Assimilation & Analytics
    • Digital Channel Development
    •  Marketing Automation
    Trading and Sales


    Examples of roles:

    • Derivatives Trader
    • Commodities Trader
    • Sales Manager
    • Increase use of predictive analytics and algorithms to supplement execution capabilities
    • Increase focus on customer experience strategies,including process change and investment into technologies that create a customized experience.
    • Data Assimilation & Analytics
    • Trade Automation
    • Customer Experience Transformation
    Regulations and Trade Controls


    Examples of roles:

    • Regulations & Trade Controls Analyst
    •  Risk Analyst
    • Tap on real time risk management solutions and scenario modelling to protect and optimise the trading business
    • Leverage technology to monitor and ensure compliance in a volatile environment
    • Scenario Modelling
    • Regulatory Compliance

     Sustainable Practices

    Examples of roles:

    • Environmental, Social & Governance Lead
    • Sustainability Manager
    • Sustainable Sourcing Manager 
    • Development and implementation of strategic sustainability practices that increase the value of organisation to customers, investors and business partners.
    • Fulfil environmental and societal commitments while still improving the bottom line under procurement  
    • Application of Environment Social & Governance Trends and Regulations
    • Carbon Footprint Management
    • Sustainable Sourcing and Procurement


    (C) Jobs at risk of displacement or merger of roles


  8. With the increase in adoption of digital technologies, we also expect to see some displacement or merging of jobs. Operations coordinators, sales associates and sourcing assistants were among the jobs identified by the study to be potentially affected. Employees in such jobs spend a significant amount of carrying out repetitive tasks which in the near future, could be potentially automated with the aid of technologies like Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies. As a result, there is a high likelihood that they could merge with adjacent jobs within the same function. Scope of work would potentially be expanded to encompass more value-adding tasks.

    Supporting businesses and workers as they prepare for new opportunities


  9. To complement the findings of the JTM, the Government and our tripartite partners continue to offer an array of programmes and grants to support workers and employers through various stages of their business transformation and skills acquisition journeys. These support measures include:

    1. Helping employers to transform their businesses and jobs
      1. Companies that are at the early stage of their digitalisation journey can tap the Productivity Solutions Grant to adopt easy-to-use digital and productivity solutions. For those who are looking at more substantial and customised capability upgrading, business transformation and internationalisation efforts, they can implement such efforts with the support of the Enterprise Development Grant.
      2. The Productivity Solutions Grant (Job Redesign) to help employers redesign existing work processes, tasks and responsibilities to make them more productive and efficient as well as to support business transformation efforts.
      1. Employers with Company Training Committees can also partner NTUC to develop their customised business transformation plan through the Operation & Technology Roadmap process.


    2. Equipping new hires and existing workers with skills for new and emerging areas


      1. As part of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, SSG, in partnership with the Institutes of Higher Learning has launched nine SGUnited Skills Programmes (SGUS) to train Singaporeans in emerging skills in the Wholesale Trade sector. Employers can employ individuals to take up job roles in areas such as Digital Marketing, Data Analytics, Business Development and Sales.
      2. Employers can also tap on various programmes include WSG’s Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) to equip their workers with the skills needed for emerging roles such as Blockchain, Data Analytics, Programmatic Trading Systems and Robotic Process Automation, as well as ESG’s Global Ready Talent Programme to build a pipeline of global-ready Singaporean talent through overseas internship and work opportunities.

      • Workforce Singapore’s CCPs include the CCPs for Internationalisation Professionals, International Trading Executives, Supply Chain Professionals, Logistics Professionals and Digital Sales Executives. (Refer to Annex A for list of relevant CCPs for the Wholesale Trade sector).
      • To support our companies to expand internationally, WSG, ESG and SBF launched the enhanced CCP for Internationalisation Professionals in June 2021, covering new markets such as China, Africa and Middle East. (Refer to Annex B for details on the CCP for Internationalisation Professionals)


  10.  Since 2018, more than 1,600 workers were placed through the CCPs with more than 600 employers in the WST sector. One of them is Ban Leong Technologies, a local IT product distributor.

  11. Headquartered in Singapore with regional sales offices in Malaysia and Thailand, Ban Leong Technologies manages more than 50 authorised distributorships for renowned brand names. Like many employers, Ban Leong Technologies once preferred to hire applicants who required minimal training. However, over time, the company found it difficult to hire experienced workers with all the required skills.

  12. To meet their manpower needs, Ban Leong Technologies had to relook their recruitment practices to hire based on aptitude and potential, and provide the required training to top up their skills. CCPs have provided Ban Leong with the support to do this.

  13. Since 2018, Ban Leong Technologies has hired 16 employees through CCPs in emerging areas such as e-commerce, supply chain management, data analytics and software development to take on roles such as Sales Manager, Product Manager, Account Manager and Software Developer, in support of Ban Leong Technologies’ business growth plans.

  14. For instance, 45-year old Jimmy Wee joined Ban Leong as a Retail Sales Manager in 2019, and had to keep pace with the rise of B2C omni-channel e-commerce. The company put him through the CCP for e-Commerce Supply Chain Professionals, where he learnt to analyse internet-based business models, handle e-commerce chains, and utilise information systems to enhance business processes. Jimmy is now supporting Ban Leong’s digitalisation plans by piloting an Application Programming Interface that will further streamline operations.

    Taking Action

  15. We encourage WST companies to study the JTM carefully and make use of the insights to prepare their businesses and workforce for the future. Companies that need advice and support can approach ESG, WSG or NTUC.

    For more information:

  16. To find out more about:

  1. WST Jobs Transformation Map:
  2. WSG’s programmes and career advisory and matching services, please visit or call WSG’s hotline at 6883 5885.
  3. WSG’s Career Conversion Programmes, please visit
  4. Upcoming engagement and outreach events organised by WSG and NTUC’s e2i, jobseekers can visit or


Annex A: Relevant CCPs for Wholesale Trade Companies


CCP Name


CCP for Internationalisation Professionals


CCP for International Trading Executives


CCP for e-Commerce Supply Chain Professionals


CCP for Logistics Professionals


CCP for Supply Chain Professionals


CCP for Data Analyst


CCP for Digital Marketing Specialist


CCP for Full Stack Web Developer


CCP for Innovation and Project Manager


CCP for IT Desktop Support Executive


CCP for IT System Support Engineer


CCP for Digital Sales Executive


CCP for Professional Executives


CCP for Digital Operations Talent


CCP for AI Solutions


CCP for Content Strategists


CCP for Digital Advertising Professionals


CCP for Design Professionals (UX/UI)


CCP for Experience Design (UX/UI)


CCP for Industry 4.0 (i4.0) Professionals


Annex B: Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Internationalisation Professionals

The CCP for Internationalisation Professionals aims to assist aspiring companies in their overseas market expansion plans. The enhanced CCP also includes a B2B e-commerce specialisation for companies who wish to embark on B2B e-commerce as a key driver for overseas expansion.


Since its inception in September 2017, the CCP has helped close to 190 companies equip more than 340 workers with competencies required to penetrate into new overseas markets. It was enhanced by WSG, ESG and SBF in 2021 to cover new markets such as China, Africa and the Middle East.


To ensure that the skillsets acquired can be applied to new roles, the classroom training programme will be customised based on the respective markets that the participating companies are expanding into.


Companies can look forward to building a pool of workers with practical internationalisation skills such as in-market business culture, distribution channels for different regions and customer management in support of their overseas expansion plans.  


Companies that are undergoing business transformation, and where their existing workers are at risk of redundancy due to the transformation can also place their workers in this CCP to train and take on new roles such as Regional Business Development Managers, Import/Export Executives, Sales & Marketing Managers and Regional e-Commerce Specialists.



[1] The upcoming JTMs would cover logistics, retail, food manufacturing, infocomm and media, supply chain management, accountancy, in-house finance and accounting functions, construction, facilities management, land transport environmental services and tourism sectors.