New Skills Framework for Wholesale Trade Sector Maps Out Career Pathways, Emerging Jobs and Competencies Needed

42 job roles, 76 requisite skills identified to help employers and employees keep pace with emerging areas like e-commerce, sustainable trading1 and data analytics.

  1. 14 November 2018, Wednesday - The new Skills Framework for Wholesale Trade, launched by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry today, offers employers and employees in this sector with a comprehensive guide to plan their career paths, identify suitable training programmes and develop new skills required for the jobs. It is jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), in consultation with employers, industry associations, training providers and unions. The framework is one of the strategies under the Wholesale Trade Industry Transformation Map that was rolled out by Enterprise Singapore in 2017 to help more trading companies adopt digital technology and internationalise.
  1. The Wholesale Trade sector is a major contributor to Singapore’s economy, comprising over 34,000 establishments and contributing to more than 320,000 (or 9% of all) jobs in 20172. With more than 80% of its sales derived from overseas markets3, the sector is highly influenced by the evolving global business environment. Hence, trading companies and their employees have to remain open and flexible to changes and develop the skills required to compete effectively in such an environment.

Disruptive Technologies Bring About Emerging Skillsets

  1. Disruptive technologies such as blockchain, big data analytics and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing the way trade is being conducted, while global B2B e-Commerce transactions are increasing with the rise of digital marketplaces4. Other trends impacting the sector include the growing emphasis on sustainable trade processes and practices, and changes in international trade standards and requirements. These developments play a key part in changing existing job roles, and the reskilling and upskilling of the workforce as companies transform their businesses.
  1. The Skills Framework for Wholesale Trade has identified core career tracks5 for businesses in this sector, covering 42 job roles. These career tracks allow users to better plan their careers by identifying progression pathways within the sector. The framework also outlines 76 technical skills and competencies required in emerging areas such as Research and Data Analytics, Risk Management & Regulatory Compliance and Digital Marketing and e-Commerce. Training providers can refer to the framework to design and offer relevant curriculum to support the skills needs of the sector.

Enterprise Singapore Partners U SME to Support Employers in Developing People

  1. To help Wholesale Trade employers adopt the Skills Framework more efficiently, Enterprise Singapore partnered NTUC U SME to co-develop the Wholesale Trade Leaders Circle. The initiative will bring together a community of like-minded business leaders who are advocates of progressive human resource practices, and work together with the Government on manpower training and reskilling efforts for our workers.
  1. For a start, 18 companies, including Agrocorp International and Star 360 Holdings, are on board the initiative and will take proactive steps to make use of the Skills Framework to improve their human resource practices and talent development. These include mapping clear career paths for employees and identifying emerging competencies required. Companies will also provide employees with opportunities in training and development based on their strengths and needs. In the next two years, companies within the Wholesale Trade Leaders Circle will aim to send at least 50% of their employees for training and skills upgrading.
  1. Companies can also refer to the list of training options indicated in the Skills Framework, such as WSG’s Adapt & Grow programmes6, to address their manpower needs. The Adapt and Grow programmes provide companies with training and wage subsidies to hire and reskill workers. One of them is the new Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Wholesale Trade Professionals announced today. The PCP equips workers with new skills so that they can assume roles in emerging areas such as blockchain technology and data analytics more effectively. Beyond new hires, employers moving into new business areas can also tap on the PCP for Wholesale Trade Professionals to reskill and redeploy their existing workers.
  1. For more information on the Skills Framework for Wholesale Trade, visit framework/wholesaletrade. For companies who are keen to find out more about the Wholesale Trade Leaders Circle, contact

1Sustainable trading refers to a trading system that does not harm the environment or deteriorate social conditions when promoting economic growth, for example, fair trading, organic trading etc.
2Source: Ministry of Manpower
3Source: Department of Statistics
4Digital B2B e-Commerce transactions are expected to reach US$6.7 trillion by 2020. Source: Frost & Sullivan, “The Global B2B E-commerce Market will reach US$6.7 trillion by 2020”, 9 April 2015
5Four career tracks include Marketing, Business Development and Analysis, Trading and Sales, Operations, Procurement and Sourcing, Finance and Regulations.
6For information on the various manpower programmes, visit