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Singapore Building a Future-Ready Workforce

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The Continuing Education and Training (CET) ecosystem, according to Singapore’s Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, allowed the country to reskill and upskill throughout the epidemic, enabling them to bounce back as soon as the global economy recovered.

The workforce must retool, at scale and speed, he continued, due to the frequent technological disruptions, the decreased half-life of skills and knowledge, and the daily emergence of new job categories. To ensure the people’s relevance and Singapore’s competitiveness in the contemporary fragmented world, upskilling or reskilling becomes more crucial than ever.

“In a fragile global economic order, we need to create new economic opportunities for our businesses to support their business transformation so they can seize new opportunities in new markets,” the Minister said. He added that skills development is also necessary for society to achieve social mobility, productivity, and wage growth.

Singapore is enhancing its demand-supply coordination skills to attain agility and responsiveness. For this, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will make continued progress in utilising data and technology to feel the skills demands of the labour market.

Minister Chun Sing specified that the industry is experiencing a digital learning revolution to employ technology and online learning more effectively to make skills training more accessible and timelier.

The objective is to improve training quality and relevance to the industry. “To do this, we’re funding adult educators’ professional growth as well as andragogy research, which is helping to innovate CET programmes,” the Minister said.

Using digital skills and ICT business as an example, Minister Chun Sing explained how they had coordinated the demand-supply responses, noting that this was an important area of concentration because the effects of digital disruption will be widespread.

Automation will replace certain occupations, but it will also create new tasks and jobs. Making sure that workers can transition from professions that are in decline to those that are anticipated to grow is the difficulty.

Digital talents, including those related to Big Data Analytics, Customer Experience Management, and AI application, are in demand locally across all industries. So that citizens have a skills surplus rather than a skills deficit, the learning and skills ecosystem must respond by upskilling the general population in digital technology.

Minister Chun Sing added that over the past few years, they have dramatically increased the availability of digital upskilling programmes, collaborating with other government agencies and top-notch private training providers to meet a variety of training needs and digital proficiency levels for both current ICT sector employees and mid-career workers looking to enter the sector.

Hence, SSG introduced a two-day training session in 2017 as part of the SkillsFuture Digital Workplace (SFDW) project for businesses and individuals interested in developing the fundamental digital skills needed at the workplace. The SFDW has so far assisted more than 125,000 people.

SFDW 2.0, which SSG just released, will be updated to include new skills with an emphasis on automation, cybersecurity, data analytics, and in-demand digital tools. To support firms in these sectors accelerate their digital transformation, SFDW 2.0 will also concentrate on industries like the built environment, manufacturing, and transportation.

The SkillsFuture Job-Skills Insights will also be made available by SSG for mid-career workers (40 and 50) who want to work in the digital economy.

Further, SSG worked together to launch the Skills Profiler, a digital tool that will further enable SMEs to manage their own skill development. This allows SMEs to use cutting-edge skills profiling technology to find talent gaps. This enables them to decide wisely about their investment in recommended training programmes for skill development.

Singapore acknowledged that digital skill development is essential nowadays and embracing digital skills empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in the digital era and seize the opportunities it presents.

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