$30 million fund launched to help Singaporeans master skills for the future

PM Lee Hsien Loong speaking at the launch of the inaugural National Productivity Month on Oct 7, 2014. He announced on Monday that the Government has set up a $30 million fund to help Singaporeans master skills for the future. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE
PM Lee Hsien Loong speaking at the launch of the inaugural National Productivity Month on Oct 7, 2014. He announced on Monday that the Government has set up a $30 million fund to help Singaporeans master skills for the future. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - The Government has set up a $30 million fund to help Singaporeans master skills for the future, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Monday.

The SkillsFuture Jubilee fund will focus on those already in the workforce and is aimed at encouraging mastery in every skill and industry, Mr Lee said at the opening ceremony of The Metropolis in Buona Vista. 

The fund was set up by the newly formed SkillsFuture Council, established in September and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, which will develop an integrated system of education, training and progression for all Singaporeans.

Mr Lee said the SkillsFuture fund hopes to attract donations from employers and unions, and the Government will match donations dollar for dollar. He also thanked Ho Bee Land chairman Chua Thian Poh for his $5 million to the fund.

The Prime Minister also said that more innovative spaces and work environments to anchor good companies in Singapore and create good jobs for Singaporeans will be developed.

He added that to do this, the Government would work with the private sector. 

Industry players have the expertise to provide high-quality developments that businesses and workers need, he noted, adding that The Metropolis, developed by property developer Ho Bee Land, was a good example of this.

The building has attracted reputable multinational corporations as tenants, such as Boston Scientific, P&G, Neptune Orient Lines and General Electric, employing over 9,000 people, Mr Lee said.

The country has been building regional centres that are just as high in quality as the central business district, he told the ceremony, adding that the one-north area in Buona Vista has taken off as a high-tech research and development (R&D) hub. 

"Today, one-north has made a name for itself, even internationally - home to some of the world's leading R&D companies and research talents," Mr Lee said.

He said that if businesses and the Government continue to work together, "businesses will prosper and workers will see their incomes rise".