Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, Ong Ye Kung, unveiled a new SkillsFuture Series of training programmes in eight priority and emerging skills areas at the launch of the Lifelong Learning Festival 2017 on Saturday (28 October).
Launched by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), the new series aims to equip working adults with the skills required across different sectors. To start, the SkillsFuture Series aims to train 10,000 Singaporeans and will be ramped up over the next three years to benefit 50,000 Singaporeans annually in 2020.
The series will comprise of more than 400 courses offered for immediate enrolment, anchored primarily by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) which will take the lead in driving and expanding the range of training programmes in the SkillsFuture Series complemented by courses offered by private training providers. SSG aims to continually expand the course list by up to three-fold, in consultation with employers, industry partners and the Labour Movement.
Drawing reference from the Industry Transformation Maps and feedback from industry partners, for a start, there will be a curated list of short and modular industry-relevant courses averaging 25 training hours in each of these eight areas:
1. Data analytics
Led by National University of Singapore, courses in this area will focus on collecting, cleansing, transforming and modelling data, in order to discover useful information. Domain areas will include artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) (applications and platforms), machine learning, cloud computing, data mining, data visualisation and coding.
Courses in this area will be led by Singapore Management University and focus on the application of technologies in the design, delivery and governance of financial services. Domain areas covered include blockchain, fintech, asset management, wealth management, risk management and compliance.
3. Tech-enabled services
Led by Singapore University of Social Sciences and Republic Polytechnic, the series of courses will delve into the use of technology-based applications to transform services-related industries such as supply chain, retail, healthcare, professional and security services. Domain areas include electronic technologies (e.g. web, epayment solutions), geospatial technology, supply chain management, security systems, digital marketing.
4. Digital media
Courses in this area, led by Nanyang Polytechnic, will focus on the creation, broadcast, production, and use of digitised content, as well as digital communications. Domain areas covered include immersive media (virtual reality, augmented reality), social media, interactive media and games development.
Courses will delve into the measures and techniques to protect the integrity of data, computing devices and other systems from damage or theft, and prevent disruption to the functionality of the systems. Led by Singapore University of Technology and Design and Temasek Polytechnic, domain areas covered include encryption technologies, cyber intelligence and cyber risk management, cyber incident investigation, cyber compliance.
Led by Ngee Ann Polytechnic, this series of courses will look into the art of transforming an idea into a venture of value creation for market, through innovation and risk-taking. Domain areas covered include start-up, technopreneurship, financing, platform models, business models, going global, product/market development, sustainable growth.
7. Advanced manufacturing
Led by Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Polytechnic, these courses will focus on the use of innovative and advanced technologies to improve products and processes by enhancing the cyber-physical integration of manufacturing. Domain areas include industrial internet of things (IIoT), additive manufacturing, robotics and automation.
8. Urban solutions
Led by Singapore Institute of Technology and Institute of Technical Education, courses will delve into solutions aimed at improving the quality of living through designing and building environmentally-sustainable and liveable cities. Domain areas include systems engineering, sustainability solutions, autonomous transport solutions.
To enable individuals to identify relevant courses based on their skills level and career needs, courses under the SkillsFuture Series are tiered across three proficiency levels – basic, intermediate and advanced.
Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SkillsFuture Singapore, said, “Through the SkillsFuture Series, we target to build up a curated list of training programmes in priority and emerging skills. This will facilitate Singaporeans and their employers in making choices about training.”
SSG expects to spend more than $70 million over the first three years on the SkillsFuture Series.
For Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents, SSG will provide up to 70% course fee subsidy to ensure courses in the SkillsFuture Series are affordable. After subsidy, most basic level training programmes (80% of them) are expected to be under S$500.
At the same time, Singaporeans who qualify for enhanced subsidies (including the Enhanced Training Support for SMEs or the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy) will also continue to enjoy further subsidies of up to 90% of the course fees, meaning about 85% of basic level courses will cost less than S$200.
Additionally, SkillsFuture Credit can be used to offset the balance of the course fees.
Two new initiatives for access to training info and career planning
Apart from the SkillsFuture Series, yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, launched two new SkillsFuture initiatives, MySkillsFuture portal and SkillsFuture Advice for Individuals.
The new initiatives aim to provide Singaporeans with both online and offline access to information about skills and training, as well as job opportunities, so that they can actively acquire and deepen their skills, and plan their careers.
A one-stop portal for all Singaporeans, MySkillsFuture aims to aid individuals to make informed learning and career plans at every stage of their lives. The portal is available online or through a mobile app where Singaporeans can log into using their SingPass to access a personalised account for their learning and career plans, which can follow them through life.
The portal contains features including a self-assessment tool, industry insights and ePortfolio are available to help users make informed decisions towards career planning. Users can also access the SkillsFuture Credit course directory (now known as the Training Exchange) and jobs listings posted under the National Jobs Bank through the portal.
Employers can tap on the portal to identify suitable programmes and resources in order to deepen the capabilities of their employees.
Adults and tertiary students can discover their career interests and work values, obtain information about the industries, apply for courses, and search and apply for jobs through five key features – self-assessment, training exchange, jobs bank, industry insights, and career resources.
For younger students (from Primary 5 to Pre-University), MySkillsFuture will be used as a resource to support education and career guidance.
While training providers can use the portal to reach out to a wider audience, and enhance their knowledge on labour market trends to deliver customised and quality training.
The portal was developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in close consultation with numerous government agencies and industry stakeholders. These partners include LinkedIn, SingTel, Courts Singapore, and The Lo & Behold Group.
Made available to schools since August 2017, MySkillsFuture has received positive initial feedback. Moving forward, SSG, WSG and MOE plan to continually enhance the portal and expand the resources available in it to improve the overall user experience.
SkillsFuture Advice for Individuals
Targeted at all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, SkillsFuture Advice for Individuals is a community outreach initiative to help more Singaporeans understand the importance of skills upgrading and career planning.
Under this initiative, series of free programmes and workshops will be conducted in four languages at the community level, to encourage more people to embark on their SkillsFuture journey.
Workshop attendees will receive information on key work trends and skills required for the workplace. They will also identify their job interests and develop their personal skills upgrading plan, as well as learn how to use MySkillsFuture at these workshops.
This is done through a strategic partnership between SSG and the Community Development Councils (CDCs), with support from WSG, People’s Association (PA) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
Since the pilot in July this year, about 1,000 Singaporeans have attended the workshops. SSG and the CDCs expect to reach out to 80,000 Singaporeans over three years.