80,000 improve job skills or explore new interests

Safety coordinator Tan Zhen Sheng wants to be an advocate of lifelong learning and used his SkillsFuture Credit to upgrade his skills.
Safety coordinator Tan Zhen Sheng wants to be an advocate of lifelong learning and used his SkillsFuture Credit to upgrade his skills. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Some have tapped it to upgrade their job skills; others have used it to try out new interests.

More than 80,000 Singaporeans aged 25 and older utilised the SkillsFuture Credit from January to August this year.

Mr Lee Hock Seng, a security officer at the Indian Heritage Centre, took advantage of it to enrol in a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications security training course at Temasek Polytechnic in January.

"I wanted to use the credits to improve my security knowledge, which can help me in my work," he said. "I wanted to be a better security officer."

During the three-day course, Mr Lee, 70, attended practical lessons, such as hands-on training and simulation exercises, which boosted his confidence at work.

He had previously spent four decades at the Ministry of Health, where he held management positions. The father of two and grandfather of four retired six years ago and went into the security line.

 

"I didn't want to stay at home and do nothing," he said. "I wanted to try out a different career and keep learning."

Another Singaporean, safety coordinator Tan Zhen Sheng, 35, used his credits to pay for a portion of his part-time specialist diploma in workplace safety and health, which began in January.

The 11-month course allows him to learn about safety measures and industry best practices. "It exposes me to new knowledge and helps me to maintain my competitiveness at work," he said.

The father of four young children took up the course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic to increase career advancement opportunities.

"For a family man like me, it can be quite taxing to fork out money for a course," he said.

"The credits help make such courses more affordable."

Mr Tan hopes to take up more courses in future, and also to promote the habit of lifelong learning among his children. "I hope to inculcate this value in my kids, and encourage them by setting a positive example," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline '80,000 improve job skills or explore new interests'. Print Edition | Subscribe