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Senior Minister of State for Manpower Mr Zaqy Mohamad's Opening Address at the People Behind People Forum 2020 at People Behind People Forum

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad , Virtual Conference

  1. Good morning, partners and friends in the HR community. 

    Applauding the efforts of HR professionals         

  2. It has been more than 9 months since the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores. The pandemic has significantly altered the way we work and interact as a community, and the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt in our lives and businesses, even as we herald in the year 2021.

  3. As mentioned by DPM, HR professionals have played a significant role in helping companies and workers navigate challenges during the pandemic. I am heartened to see HR professionals in Singapore rising to the occasion and applaud them for their contributions during these challenging times. HR professionals stood firm as the organisation’s bedrock of support, guiding the organisation in balancing business considerations, whilst safeguarding employees’ health, safety and welfare.

    The HR ecosystem and community has come together to make a difference

  4. I am also heartened to see the HR ecosystem coming together to look at ways to support the People Behind People – namely the HR professionals, as they effect purposeful change for the organisation and workforce.

  5. Towards the end of 2019, a joint initiative by SHRI and IHRP brought together prominent members of the HR ecosystem to discuss barriers impeding the progress of the HR profession, identify strategies to build HR advocacy and branding, as well as programmes to accelerate capability building for HR professionals. Progress on this will be shared at the HR Ecosystem Showcase later.

  6. In recognition of the changing environment, a refresh of IHRP’s Body of Competencies (BOC) was commissioned earlier this year. A Steering Committee chaired by Singtel’s CHRO Ms Aileen Tan and comprising IHRP Master Professionals, business leaders, international experts and representatives from SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) identified new competencies that HR professionals would require to stay relevant and future-focused. Particularly noteworthy is the addition of Job Redesign as a new HR sub-competency to support both organisations and workers going through change. The refreshed BoC will also shape the HR curriculum to build future-ready skillsets in fresh entrants and mid-career professional conversions into HR. A preview of the BoC will be later featured as part of today’s programming.

    HR’s role will continue to be amplified, as they further help to future-proof organisations

  7. Moving forward, HR’s role will continue to be amplified, as they become a “guiding light” for their organisations, helping to future-proof the business and ensuring that workers stay relevant.  HR professionals will also be that “leading voice” in fine-tuning policies and accelerating the adoption of good workplace practices.

  8. HR will also continue to play a vital role of national importance, helping the Tripartite Partners ensure that guidelines and advisories, such as the Tripartite Advisory on Mental Wellbeing and the National Wages Council’s recommendation on Flexible Wage System, are well implemented in their organisations.

    The next bound of HR transformation calls for strengthening HR capabilities and preparing HR professionals to embrace technology transformation

  9. MOM will continue to support businesses in strengthening their HR capabilities and helping HR professionals acquire emerging skills to better support business and workforce transformation. The HR Industry Transformation Advisory Panel (HRTAP) recommendations launched in September 2020 promotes two key thrusts.

  10. Firstly, strengthening HR capabilities in organisations, such as through grant support for HR technology adoption under ESG’s Productivity Solutions grant to digitalise HR processes.  

  11. Secondly, equipping HR professionals with emerging skills to be better prepared for technology transformation. 

  12. As part of efforts under the HRTAP, MOM and IHRP commissioned Willis Towers Watson to conduct a study on “The Impact of Technology on Human Resource Jobs and Skills”, to help the HR community better prepare and upskill themselves in harnessing technology to deliver higher value-add to businesses as they transform for the future. 

  13. The study found that about 90% of HR jobs will be impacted by technology to some degree. The investment in and adoption of technology will increase HR’s efficiency and allow HR to deliver seamless and cutting-edge employee-centric services and experiences more effectively.  This will enable HR to pursue more strategic high-value activities and unlock value creation for the business.  Findings of this study will be officially launched on the IHRP and Willis Towers Watson websites today.

  14. To better prepare HR professionals, IHRP is partnering with the training ecosystem to develop training curriculum for HR professionals to acquire new skills necessary to embark on digital transformation. IHRP’s Skills Badge on HR Technology and the HR Tech Community of Practice will further help to raise awareness and engender further HR technology adoption amongst the HR community.

  15. I encourage business and HR leaders to invest in improving HR productivity by championing the adoption of  HR technology and supporting new skills development for HR.  HR Professionals too need step up and take ownership of their own skills development and adopt a growth mindset in embracing digitalisation.

    Recognising excellence in HR and advancing Human Capital leadership

  16. In many ways, 2020 is a significant and pivotal year for the HR Profession.  HR Professionals have exhibited collective leadership to ensure that the workplace is safe, maintain the pace of productivity, transit the workforce through reskilling and engage employees in a virtual work environment.  In recognition of the achievements of HR, SHRI will be launching the nomination process for its 15th Singapore HR Awards starting 11 December.  The awards presentation gala is set to take place mid-2021, which will feature the theme “Advancing and Recognising Human Capital”.

  17. Today also marks a day of celebration and recognition of five new IHRP Master Professionals. The IHRP-MP is the pinnacle of the IHRP Certification, providing special recognition for top HR leaders from the private and public sector, who well-regarded by the HR community.  I congratulate the new IHRP-MPs on their achievement and look forward to their continued contributions to the growing IHRP Community, which stands at about 3,211 certified professionals today.


  18. We will continue to navigate through turbulent times, and the road to recovery will neither be easy nor quick. However, we will be able to get through this period and emerge stronger with the support from all of you in the HR community and ecosystem.

  19. Thank you, once again, for all your efforts to keep our workers and workplaces safe, as well as helping your organisations weather the storm and your people thrive into the future.

  20. I wish you all a fruitful and exciting day of learning ahead.