In recent months, we’ve been hearing a lot about increasing retrenchment rates and skills mismatch plaguing the Singapore workforce. The government has definitely stepped up effort to help workers to adapt better to the changing economy, and one of these better known effort was through the introduction of the Skillsfuture movement in 2015.
While some 380,000 Singaporeans have benefited from the programme last year, the government is doing more to widen its reach, as well as introducing more help for workers via e-learning and structured training.
During the Budget Speech this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat highlighted a number of ways workers can acquire skills and adapt it to a changing work environment.
For instance, short modular courses will be offered and the use of e-learning will be expanded in order to make these development courses more accessible to different workers.
SkillsFuture credits will continue to be a primary source for Singaporeans to take approved courses. The initiative was introduced to help Singaporeans aged 25 and above to re-skill, which will see them receiving a sum from the Government to help pay for approved skills-related courses.
But beyond the Skillsfuture credits that most Singaporeans know, there are various other schemes under the program that can help poorer Singaporeans earn more.
The SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme is a work-learn programme designed to give fresh graduates from polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) a head-start in careers related to their discipline of study.
Individuals will be matched with a job related to their discipline of study and undergo a 12- to 18-month structured training programme, depending on the sector and job requirements. The programme includes facilitated learning, on-the-job training and work-based projects. At the end of the programme, individuals will receive an industry-recognised certification and potential wage progression or career advancement based on performance.
For jobseekers who are mid-career, there is the Professional Conversion Programme which can help them reskill and acquire the necessary know-how and competencies to take on new jobs. Some programmes include a work attachment, which enables individuals to acquire on-the-job experience in the field, thus enhancing their employability. A wide range of industry is covered under this scheme, including Pharmaceuticals, creative industries, food services, healthcare, IT, logistics, retail and manufacturing.
With skills mismatch and retrenchment on the rise, PMETs who are made redundant or have been unemployed for 6 months and more can gain access to mid-level job opportunities with this programme. Candidates can get help to On-the-job or WSG-approved training on Skills Connect to help them settle in at their new jobs.
In this changing economy, it is important for workers to keep re-skilling to ensure that they stay relevant for their jobs. With the help from the government, workers will be able to use these opportunities to help them stay on in their jobs or take on new jobs with relevant competency.