SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) are two new statutory boards that has been set up since 2016 to accommodate for better education, career guidance and training courses for all Singaporeans.
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Amendment) Bill and the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency Bill were two bills passed in Parliament. SSG will be overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE) while they work with WSG.
The aim of the boards is to deepen the skills of adult learners by tapping on the educational resources in educational institutions, integrate work and study and lastly provide better career guidance for students and workers. However, many Member of Parliament (MPs) are calling for more efforts to be made to cater to other categories of Singaporeans. They have called for the agency to look into expanding the skills of people with special needs, explaining that those who managed to find jobs might soon lose them if no continuous customised training and support is provided.
It was also added that the government do not intend to leave behind those who are at risk -in this case those with special needs. Also mentioned is that skills training should be extended to prison inmates as well. It would help them in their rehabilitation as well as ease them into integrating back into the economy and community.
SkillsFuture And Our Ageing Population
Many MPs also voiced out their concerns regarding the older generation and the fact they might not be as versatile in Information Technology (IT) or other areas as the younger generation. Older workers will need help to meet their career ambitions by establishing courses catered to them. It was recommended that the education ministry look into the type jobs older workers are employed in and what they hope to do if they further their careers.
Not Just A Governmental Effort, Employers Are Also Involved
Efforts are already being made under these categories but admitted that more can be done for them. He informed that Ministry of Education (MOE) higher education department works closely with industry partners in developing internships for university and polytechnic students, and also coming up with the curriculum of courses. SkillsFuture programme is designed to prepare workers for both traditional and new industries and that they need to build a foundation of skills of depth. In this way, will workers be prepared for any job they are keen to apply for.
Being a country where we strive to excel in our studies, it is great to see that there is help for those who are not academically-inclined. Groups that fall through the cracks in the education system now get a second chance to redeem themselves.
MP’s voicing out the problems faced by these citizens and the government promising to solve it – that’s a start. But as a country that promotes justice and equality, we should do our part to provide equal opportunities for our people in their careers and future endeavours.
And that should be what SkillsFuture should be all about.