For training Singaporeans in the latest emerging fields, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will offer more than 400 bite-sized courses under a new initiative called the SkillsFuture Series, asserted Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung today. He was speaking at the launch of the Lifelong Learning Festival at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.
In the first year, these courses aim to train 10,000 Singaporeans and will last for an average of 25 hours each. This will be ramped up to 50,000 training places a year by 2020, with total annual continuing education and training hours under the series to grow to 2.2 million hours from 440,000 hours.
The courses will be offered in different areas including data analytics, finance and tech-enabled services, which cover e-payment solution systems, digital media, cyber security, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing and urban solutions- that are central to Singapore’s future needs.
The Minister said, “Several of these areas will cover new technologies that have caused some sense of uncertainty and worry among workers.”
He added, “We hope that through the SkillsFuture Series, the new and unknown can be demystified, and Singaporeans can pick up relevant skills and knowledge and face the future with greater confidence and enthusiasm,"
Ministry of Education of Singapore will be investing over SGD70 million in the SkillsFuture Series over the next three years to pre-subsidise up to 70 per cent of the course fees. With subsidies, majority of the basic levels of the modular courses will cost less than SGD500. Individuals and businesses can then tap on their SkillsFuture Credit to pay balance.
In addition, Singaporeans who qualify for enhanced subsides such as the Enhanced Training Support for SMES of SkillsFuture Mid-career enhanced subsidy will continue to get further subsidies of up to 90 per cent of fees at the basic course level.
The Minister said, “Some of these may be skills and vocational-based, and better delivered as modular industry training leading to graduate certifications. Further, we will have to re-look the funding levels for coursework programmes which are purely academic in nature.”
The Lifelong Learning festival will be held from October 28 to November 27. Members of the public can participate in over 300 activities across Singapore. The annual event aims to build a culture of lifelong learning to support the SkillsFuture movement among Singaporeans.