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Singapore Offers Digital Skills Training for Senior Citizens

More than 100,000 seniors have benefited from digital skills training conducted by the Singapore Digital Office (SDO). A survey showed that nine in ten continue to apply the skills learnt, including using their smartphone for video calls, accessing government digital services and making e-payments, in their daily life. SDO supports the less digitally savvy in the community, through high touch engagement to adopt digital tools, skills and habits, to thrive in the digital future.

SDO has conducted more than 250,000 training sessions for seniors to date. SDO has also engaged 18,000 2 stallholders to help them kick-start their digital journey by adopting digital tools such as the unified e-payment solution. More than 60% of Singapore’s stallholders have adopted the solution, and stall transaction volume and e-payment value have continued to grow.

With the experience gained, we will broaden and deepen the work of SDO. Through the Mobile Access for Seniors scheme, lower-income seniors will enjoy two, instead of  one year, of the subsidised mobile plan. From seniors in the community, we will expand outreach to seniors at workplaces and other vulnerable groups such as the hearing impaired. From digital literacy, we are striving for digital competency. We are roping in more corporate and community partners, so that Singapore’s digital future can be truly inclusive.

Minister for Communications and Information

Building on its current efforts, SDO is now working to broaden and deepen its efforts so as to reach out to more stakeholders and customise its services to better meet their varied needs. These include:

  • Enhanced mobile access scheme for seniors: Under the Mobile Access for Seniors scheme3 introduced in June 2020, lower-income seniors get access to a subsidised smartphone and mobile plan for 1 year. This means that they can purchase a phone starting from $20 and pay $5 per month for a 1-year mobile plan. More than 7,900 low-income seniors have benefitted from the scheme since it started.
  • Expanding efforts to reach out to more seniors and other vulnerable groups: To expand SDO’s existing outreach efforts to seniors, SDO will set up more than 200 roving community counters to bring its services even closer to seniors in the community. This is on top of its 47 community hubs presently.
  • Beyond basic digital literacy to achieving greater competency: SDO has also strengthened its Seniors Go Digital curriculum to make learning more comprehensive and enable seniors to be more confident in using an even wider range of digital tools relevant to their daily lives. For example, SDO will equip seniors with knowledge on the use of health-related apps such as HealthHub and Healthy 365 to enable seniors to access their medical records and appointments and encourage them to adopt a healthier and more meaningful lifestyle. Through the SG Cyber Safe Seniors Programme, SDO will help raise seniors’ awareness of cybersecurity and good cyber hygiene practices.

Singapore has been creating projects to provide digital skills, including people without a tech background. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Minister for Communication and Information and the Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity launched the second edition of SkillsFuture Month X Smart Nation (SFM X SN). The programme aims to encourage more Singaporeans, particularly those without a tech background, to consider a career in the growing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

At the roadshows, visitors will be able to find out what are the in-demand digital and tech skills, get help to develop personalised training plans, and sign up for tech-related webinars after speaking with the skills and training ambassadors. The 19 webinars curated for this event offer tech skills upgrading courses for those who want a more general introduction to tech topics, as well as those looking to improve their skills in a particular area of expertise.

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