Minister: Polytechnics offering 'deeper skills' are vital

SINGAPORE - The Government is committed to ensuring that polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) remain attractive, enabling young people to build deep expertise in areas of work, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Wednesday.

"A nation of people with deep skills enables us to achieve success," he said, adding: "As technology improves, deeper skills are needed. This will occur in many areas of our society, of our economy."

Mr Heng, who was speaking at the closing ceremony of the WorldSkills Singapore competition held at ITE College Central in Ang Mo Kio, said the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review has thrown up "important and interesting proposals" to look forward to.

He presented medals to the winners of the WorldSkills Singapore competition, which started on July 10.

The three-day contest saw 142 young people from the ITE polytechnics, Shatec institutes and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts battle it out in 17 skills areas such as aircraft maintenance, cooking, health and social care and mobile robotics.

The skills competition is held every two years to encourage young people to train and do well in their area of expertise.

The winners will be given a chance to represent Singapore at the world finals - dubbed the 'Olympics of Skills' - in Brazil in August next year.

The biennial competition gathers representatives from different countries who are considered the best in their vocational fields.