If you’ve ever thought that of expanding your skillset to boost your career, kudos to you! But it can be highly confusing: should you take up that social media marketing course? Or invest your time and money in a coding programme?
If you’re not sure what sort of hard skills to acquire, why not consider blue-collar skills? According to Forbes, the number of blue-collar workers are decreasing globally and are in hot demand. And together with the rest of the world, studies also show that Singapore will be lacking 1 million skilled workers by 2030.
The stigma of blue-collar skills
The world’s flawed perspective with blue-collar workers is documented extensively. These workers are usually portrayed as masculine men with a yellow helmet and rubber boots, working in construction, farming, plumbing, and more.
Whereas in Singapore, blue-collar workers are often assumed to be middle-aged khaki-wearing uncles with the age-old toolbox.
However their outlook, they’re constantly depicted as diligent, under-educated men who work hard so they can provide for their family. Not to mention that these workers are usually paid less.
Truth is, none of these realistically represent what it’s like to hold a blue-collar job. Fact is, skilled workers contribute immensely to the functions of businesses and the entire society. Plus they could be quite well-paid too.
As for training and education requirements, blue-collar jobs don’t necessarily entails a bachelor’s degree. Instead, you’d need formal training, apprenticeships, certifications and/or licensures to qualify.
We’re not asking you to switch things up and change careers. But with a shortage of skilled employee in the current time, we’re somehow required to have more cross-functional skills.
If you’d like to keep yourself highly-sought after or to never have to worry about acquiring a livelihood, here are the top 5 most in-demand skills that will always come in handy.
Amateur handyman (locksmith, repairman etc.)
Although the number of platforms that allows you to engage handyman has significantly increased; hands up if you’re one of those who only trusts recommendations by fam or friends.
Or at least, you believe their recommended candidate would never quote you an exorbitant fee. You don’t want to end up getting scammed by renovation company, like this guy. Things like this keep people wary.
Furthermore, the industry is aging. Youth and handyman don’t go together at all, which could cause talent scarcity in the blue-collar industry. Besides, as artificial intelligence advances, millions of white-collar jobs could be obsolete soon, which means there could be a chance that you’ll be out of a job soon.
To make sure you have a job no matter the changes, it’s probably a smart choice to learn some repairing skills.
Fee per hour: SGD 50
Electrician and plumbing
Beyond using a plunger on an overflowing toilet or using some liquid drain cleaner, real plumbing work is not one of the easiest do-it-yourself home projects.
Plumbing takes a little more than just practice, likewise for electrical technicians. If you’d like to venture in this direction and become bosses like these brothers, it’s no easy feat.
Because of specialized equipment and safety practices, you may have to go through an apprentice program or a technical training program at a trade school.
Fee per hour: SGD 55
Baking (or anything to do with confectionery creation)
A banker by day, macaroon painter by night, anyone? Baked goods are highly sought-after in Singapore. Why so? Singaporeans are a celebratory bunch (plus there’s never a wrong time for cake).
Not convinced? Let us list out a few occasions for you: Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Christmas, engagement, baby shower, wedding, birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day… And the list goes on. These events definitely call for baked goods, no matter whether they’re cake, cookies, or macaroons.
Fee per hour: SGD 25
As companies scramble to adapt to the booming technology industry, they’re putting lots of resources into expanding their businesses. For some that means getting a head start in building their online presence.
With that, customer service could be one of the most in-demand roles. Customer service is of critical importance to your business because you have to retain customers you close and extracting more value from them.
Maybe you’d think that it’s a piece of cake with this job, but it’s far from easy.
You need to carefully filter words before answering any questions, and you’ve to understand the company’s values and principles before choosing the right words to answer those mind-provoking questions (usually in the form of angsty complaint). You’ve got to have full knowledge of the company’s products and/or services before you can answer the question from that interested customer who’s almost ready to commit.
Fee per hour: SGD 20
With the rise of BTOs in Singapore, younger couples prefer customized furniture in their home for a sense of individuality along with Singaporeans’ love for Muji-style home. Here’s where carpentry comes into play.
But similar to any other tradesmen, carpenters are a dying group of craftsmen. Fortunately, the younger Singaporeans are taking their career to a whole new direction, namely carpentry. Having said that, few would take up a job like this. Because it’s beyond woodworking.
Carpenters also has to specialize in particular tasks, including insulating buildings or building kitchen cabinets, repair building structures made from wood and other materials, etc.
Fee per hour: SGD 45
With the gradual decrease in skilled workers, companies are actually thinking of ways to attract millenials and Gen Z to blue-collar jobs.
Anyone out there with these skills, please don’t waste it. Trust us, there ARE people out there looking for people with skills like yours. Put your skills to great use by signing up as a member on our app and look out for tasks which require your in-demand skills!