National Day Rally 2014: Tharman to chair committee to help non-graduates advance

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam speaking at an Institute of Policy Studies forum on Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme and retirement adequacy held at the Island Ballroom in Shangri-La Hotel on July 22,  2014. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOH
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam speaking at an Institute of Policy Studies forum on Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme and retirement adequacy held at the Island Ballroom in Shangri-La Hotel on July 22,  2014. -- ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - ITE and polytechnic graduates will get a big boost to help them match their skills to the right jobs and move up, with the setting up of a tripartite committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam for this purpose.

This was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, as he stressed that a university degree need not be the only route to a fulfilling career for young Singaporeans.

Having relevant and deep skills can also lead to good jobs that pay well, and this lies at the heart of the recommendations drawn up by the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE (Aspire) committee which recently completed an extensive review of tertiary technical education.

To open up this alternative pathway for young Singaporeans, the committee led by Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah has put forward several recommendations which they will announce in detail soon.

Mr Tharman's committee, which will involve government, employers and unions, will put in place the integrated system of education, training and career progression for all Singaporeans as suggested by the Aspire team.

The other task before Mr Tharman's committee will be harnessing industry support and social recognition for individuals to advance based on skills.

PM Lee noted that drawing up work and study paths for all students on a national scale will not be an easy task.

For one it involves many stakeholders - students, parents, the various government agencies, employers as well as the unions, which must be fully behind the effort, championing life-long learning.

Companies will have to develop corporate culture and training schemes that will develop every worker and allow them to progress.