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Singapore boosts efforts to improve employability of locals



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Following the issuance of SkillsFuture Credit activation letters to Singaporeans, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced several initiatives to drive the SkillsFuture movement within the country and boost employability of locals.

In a press release issued yesterday, MOM stated a new statutory board under the Ministry of Education (MOE), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), will be formed to drive and coordinate the implementation of SkillsFuture.

It will take over some of the functions currently performed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and absorb the Council for Private Education (CPE), an existing statutory board under MOE.

Simultaneously, the nation’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will be reconstituted into a new statutory board, Workforce Singapore (WSG), focused on jobs and ensuring enterprises can become manpower-lean while remaining competitive.

The new statutory board will remain under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

“This reorganisation within government will enable each organisation to focus with all its energy on its key mission, which are each our important priorities for the future: SkillsFuture and quality jobs for Singaporeans,” said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for economic and social Policies.

ALSO READ: The SkillsFuture Council starts work to boost Singaporeans’ careers

“SkillsFuture Singapore will foster a culture of lifelong learning, and help to integrate a whole system of education and training through life. ‘Workforce Singapore’ will be MOM’s agent in developing a strong Singaporean core in each sector of our economy, and help companies to be manpower-lean while remaining competitive,” he added.

Here are further details of the two new statutory boards:

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)

SSG’s mission will be to drive and coordinate SkillsFuture, and promote a culture of lifelong learning in Singapore.

The board will maximise synergies between pre-employment (PET) and continuing education and training (CET). SSG will work with educational institutions and training partners to build a vibrant landscape of high-quality, industry-relevant training. SSG will also work closely with industry to ensure its skill requirements are met, in coordination with other government agencies.

“With SSG under MOE, the government can better leverage the strengths of the Institutes of Higher Learning – ITE, polytechnics, and universities – as well as private training providers to move SkillsFuture efforts forward as part of a holistic system of life-long learning,” MOM stated.

Workforce Singapore (WSG)

WSG’s key mission will be to help Singaporeans take on quality jobs and careers.

Importantly, it will seek to strengthen the Singaporean core and promote the development, competitiveness, and employability of the Singapore workforce, with good matching of manpower supply with industry demand.

Additionally, the board will support and assist Singaporeans seeking employment. It will also help enterprises become more manpower-lean.

“WSG will undertake WDA’s current work on employment facilitation, career services, and industry engagement. It will drive efforts to help Singaporeans assume quality jobs and careers, while addressing industry manpower needs,” the press release said.

Speaking with Human Resources, Freddie Chow, chief talent officer, Asia Pacific at Sanofi said he’s confident the boards will be helpful in enhancing the employability of Singaporeans.

“As Singapore becomes an attraction for foreign talents, it is important for Singaporeans to continuously learn and upgrade their skill sets to become more competitive and also more employable,” he said.

“Employers in Singapore can benefit from Government grants and encourage more Singaporeans to be trained under government subsidised programmes.”

Gary Lee, senior project manager, talent management (global) at Grundfos echoed Chow’s views, reminding local bosses to also take initiative in encouraging professionals to learn.

“I think these boards will be helpful in sharpening professional skills for Singaporeans which unfortunately may not translate to increased employability as the inertia for Singapore employers to recognize enhanced learning and to give incentives for these additional skills is still high,” he said.

“Singapore employers will have to work hand in hand with these boards to encourage corporate learning through tangible actions from the employer front rather than simply paying lip service.”

Image: Shutterstock

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