The Rise of the Care Economy

Over the last year, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for a stronger care ecosystem. “Care” here refers to services contributing to the nurturing and teaching of current and future populations. The sectors delivering these services typically involve childcare, senior care, education, healthcare, and personal & social care, with care at their core. This network of services supporting human health and potential can be termed broadly as the Care Economy. 

Globally, the Care Economy is one of the fastest expanding economic sectors, contributing significantly to employment and economic growth and development. According to a recent World Economic Forum report, almost 40% of job openings in emerging professions will be in the Care Economy.  In Singapore, care roles such as community and social managers, healthcare assistants and preschool educators are consistently amongst job roles with the most openings over the last few years. This could be due to the shifting demographics of Singapore’s population, longer life expectancy, and increasing demand for care services, which are creating new business models and more job opportunities within the Care Economy.  

In analysing the jobs and skills in the Care Economy, we found that skills relating to professional conduct and ethics, stakeholder management, and inclusive practices are the top three most required skills by Care professionals. In fact, these top three skills are required by at least two-thirds of all the job roles across healthcare, early childhood, and social services sectors today! This comes as no surprise for the following reasons: 

  1. Care Professionals need to uphold a high standard of ethics and maintain professional conduct so that individuals entrusted to them can feel at ease and trust them. 

  2. Strong stakeholder management skills enable Care Professionals to deliver professional advisement and  engage closely with the individuals, their care-givers and families to make well-informed decisions and ensure a holistic care service. 

  3. Inclusive practices at work enable Care Professionals to consult and collaborate with each other as they deliver services that cater to the needs of clients from various diverse backgrounds.  

top 20 skills in care economy

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore

Click here to explore courses for the Care Economy.

Two important anchor sectors of the Care Economy are Healthcare and Social Service.


Singapore’s healthcare system is widely recognised to be efficient and effective in achieving good public health outcomes for Singaporeans. This is underpinned by reliable healthcare services, strong infrastructure, sound policies, and a dedicated and skilled workforce in providing value-driven care across the care continuum.

Demand for healthcare and senior care services is expected to grow as our population ages rapidly. Primary care and preventive health capabilities are being built up to deliver and support the delivery of these services. Community care capabilities will be strengthened to provide Singaporeans with access to convenient, affordable, and appropriate care. Seniors will be supported with quality care in the community or at home so that they can age gracefully in the environment they are familiar with.

To support the healthcare transformation journey, healthcare professionals will need to prepare themselves with relevant skills to bring about changes across patient-care delivery, education, and experience.

Top 5 Jobs in-demand by Healthcare Employers

  1. Senior/Therapy Support Assistant

  2. Senior Healthcare Assistant / Basic Care Assistant / Nursing Aide

  3. Senior/Patient Service Associate

  4. Patient Service Assistant Supervisor

  5. Principal/Senior/Enrolled Nurse

Top Required Skills in Healthcare

  1. Change Management

  2. Professional, Legal and Ethical Healthcare Practice

  3. Workplace Safety and Health

  4. Inter-professional Collaboration

  5. Management of Stakeholders

  6. Continuous Improvement Management

  7. Emergency Response and Crisis Management

  8. Audit Management

  9. Clinical Governance

  10. Programme Delivery

Top Emerging Skills in Healthcare

  1. Continuous Improvement Management

  2. Service Quality Management

  3. Clinical Services Development

  4. Nursing Productivity and Innovation

  5. Health Promotion

  6. Group Therapy Planning and Implementation

  7. Patient Empowerment on Self-care

  8. Therapy Discharge Planning

  9. Excellence in Service

  10. Care Transition in Nursing

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore 

Click here to explore courses for the Healthcare sector.

Social Service

The social service sector comprises professionals and organisations bound by a common mission to drive positive change in our community, by providing services to the disadvantaged. Serving in voluntary welfare organisations, social enterprises, professional associations, and other sector organisations, social service professionals work hand-in-hand with partners across different disciplines to empower lives.

With an ageing population and other demographic changes, the social service sector has grown in strength to cater to the needs of our society. Today, social service professionals support individuals in need across five service areas:

  1. Children and Youth

  2. Disabilities and Special Needs

  3. Families

  4. Mental Health; and

  5. Seniors

To serve these diverse social groups, social service professionals will need to keep abreast with trends and collaborate with the community and other professionals to design and deliver more holistic services to the community and their clients.

Top 5 Jobs in-demand by Social Service Employers

  1. Care Staff / Social Service Assistant (Child & Youth)

  2. Admin and Business Manager

  3. Social Service Programme Manager / Volunteer Manager

  4. Social Service Policy Manager

  5. Assistant / Research and Development Director

Top Required Skills in Social Service

  1. Ethics, Values and Legislation

  2. Stakeholder Management

  3. Diversity Awareness and Management

  4. Trends Evaluation and Application

  5. Social Sector Policy Influence

  6. Collaborative Practices Across Disciplines and Sectors

  7. Emergency Response and Crisis Management

  8. Resilience and Self-care

  9. Reflexive Practice

  10. Research Data Collection and Management

Top Emerging Skills in Social Service

  1. Trends Evaluation and Application

  2. Collaborative Practices Across Disciplines and Sectors

  3. Research Data Collection and Management

  4. Social Service Programme Development

  5. Practice Supervision

  6. Research Data Analysis

  7. Research Design

  8. Research into Professional Practice Translation

  9. Change Management

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore

Click here to explore courses for the Social Service sector.

Posted on 18/10/21