Policymakers have always aspired to create jobs and raise the wages and income of employees to commensurate with the rise in productivity. In reality, even as the economy is growing, a competitive marketplace will not generate enough employment opportunities.
There are many reasons causing considerable imperfections in the labour market. There is growing polarisation of labour-market opportunities between high- and low-skill jobs, skills mismatch and increasing skills gap among workers, unemployment and underemployment, especially the youth, stagnating and slowing income growth for a large proportion of households, especially those in the Bottom 40.
The education system has not kept pace with the changing nature of work, resulting in many employers not finding enough workers with the needed skills. Lack of skills was the main reason for entry-level job vacancies. Fresh graduates were not adequately prepared for the world of work. There were gaps in technical skills such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject degrees but also in soft skills such as communication, teamwork, attitude and punctuality.