Skip to main content

Opening Address at HCS-WSG Masterclass Event on “Modern HR & Leadership and People Management Practice for Future of Work”

Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Manpower, Lifelong Learning Institute

Mdm Ho Geok Choo, Founder & CEO of Human Capital Singapore,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


1. Good afternoon. I would like to thank Human Capital Singapore (or HCS) for inviting me here today. It is really wonderful to be among HR professionals and movers of our manpower sector. We are also here to witness the launch of the Modern HR and Leadership and People Management (or LPM in short) Practice Series for the Future of Work.


Strengthening synergies between Government and HR sector

2. HR plays a fundamental role in the success of businesses. The Government is committed to working with partners like HCS, to ensure that HR professionals and leaders are equipped with the right mindset and skills, in order to create a strong and sustainable workforce.

3. I am happy to see some familiar faces today, whom I also met last month, at the HR Tech Festival organised by HRM Asia. At the festival, MOM announced the launch of the HR Industry Transformation Plan, or HR ITP. The HR ITP is a five-year plan to strengthen the HR profession in Singapore and evolve HR’s role to drive strategy and operational excellence, leading to increased business value and outcomes. It builds on two key thrusts of the 2020 HR Transformation Advisory Panel recommendations: first, to build enterprise HR capabilities to support business transformation; and second, to uplift the HR workforce with relevant skillsets and mindsets.

4. As I had also emphasised at the launch, cementing HR’s position as a strategic business partner and at the leadership table is key to ensure the continued growth and increased productivity of the business. It is not just about HR enabling and HR supporting, but HR needs to be at the leadership table to make a difference – that is key and we have to enable HR practitioners to do that. We must leverage the HR ecosystem, including human capital academies and training organisations, to build relevant competencies and mindsets.

5. This is why HCS’ launch of the Modern HR and LPM Practice Series comes at the right time to complement the Government’s efforts. The programmes and workshops in the Practice Series are tailored to strengthen HR practices in businesses. These include HR digitalisation and strategic HR capabilities for sustained competitive advantage, all of which support the initiatives laid out in the HRITP.

6. I am heartened to know that this programme is also supported by industry partners, including the Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP) and Singapore Business Federation (SBF). Such strong collaborations ensure that our HR professionals are equipped with industry-relevant skills and play a critical role to help business leadership and businesses to take the next step forward.

Modern HR & LPM Practice Series play a strategic role in supporting HR transformation in businesses

7. With the world increasingly disrupted by emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), amidst a global manpower crunch and competition for talent, businesses must rethink their talent strategies. To stay ahead of the transformation curve, businesses must innovate and think beyond traditional HR strategies to attract, engage, and retain talent for sustained competitiveness. For HR professionals to support the businesses through these challenging times, it is also key for them to move beyond process execution, and strive for both strategic and operational excellence.

8. On this note, I am very glad that HCS and IHRP are signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the businesses in strengthening their HR strategies. HCS and IHRP will work together to help businesses capitalise on IHRP’s products. One of IHRP’s key resources is its repository of IHRP’s playbooks. There are already seven HR playbooks that address common or sector-specific HR issues such as talent retention amidst technological disruption. With this MOU, IHRP and HCS will be working closely to proliferate the adoption of these playbooks. HCS will also be incorporating these playbooks as an action learning component in their programmes. This will go a long way in supporting HR professionals to acquire the practical skills needed to navigate emerging challenges. Business and HR leaders participating in the programmes will also get a report on their HR maturity, generated via IHRP’s Human Capital Diagnostic Tool, or HCDT in short. Through the HCDT, businesses will receive insights on their key strengths and development areas, as well as an action plan that is tailored to their businesses. Arising from industry feedback, IHRP will also launch the Chinese version of the HCDT Navigator in the later part of 2023. With strong support of HCS through its network, we hope that more businesses can benefit from the HCDT, and use the insights generated to enhance your human capital practices.

9. Other than the MOU, the nine programmes and four micro action workshops under the Modern HR and LPM Practice Series will equip HR professionals and businesses to deal with the upcoming challenges. One example is the SOAR Programme which stands for Survive, Opportunities, Adapt and Resources. This programme focuses on modern HR practices like fostering employee well-being and using data-driven insights to equip HR for business challenges ahead. Transforming its HR practices will enable businesses to attract the right people to their organisations, and build a resilient and engaged workforce for greater productivity.

10. At the same time, we must continue to push ahead with HR digitalisation and incorporate technology into HR processes. At the strategic level, the use of people data and analytics can help organisations better plan and align workforce skills and training needs to the business strategy. The HR Technology. Innovation. Enterprise. People. Or TEIP Programme, aims to do just that. Through this programme, HR personnel will learn how to integrate digitisation knowledge and skills into HR and people management practices. This will help to build enterprise digital capabilities and provide HR professionals with better career prospects beyond operations. I think it is clear – we are trying to uplift, upgrade and move HR up.

11. HR must also keep abreast of the latest technologies. I am pleased to know that one of the four micro action workshops offered under the Modern HR and LPM Practice Series, “HR Befriends AI – Upgrading Digital Literacy with ChatGPT & Beyond”, also coaches businesses and HR professionals on using AI tools for data storytelling to achieve management buy-in. The inaugural run just concluded a few days ago, and I am very excited to meet some of the participants on stage later.

12. I would like to encourage more companies and HR professionals to take up these programmes and workshops to fortify against business and people challenges, and for all of us to maintain our competitiveness.


13. It has been and will continue to be an exciting year for businesses and HR professionals.

14. While we forge on with our efforts, the HR community must also continue to support one another on this journey to build an agile and strategic HR.

15. Only by having a common interest, common mindset, and a drive for excellence can we work together to implement the business roadmap of tomorrow.

16. I urge HR leaders and businesses to embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead and continue to build a strong HR that benefits our businesses, our workers, and in the overall scale, our economy.

17. I look forward to witnessing more of such strong collaborations between the industry and training organisations, and I wish you a fruitful discussion ahead.

18. Have a wonderful afternoon, thank you and take care.