New tripartite council to steer skills drive

A new tripartite council has been set up to make sure that Singapore's efforts to boost skills and productivity are in line with each other.

Called the Council for Skills, Innovation, and Productivity (CSIP), it was officially launched last Friday. It will replace the existing SkillsFuture Council and National Productivity Council.

The new council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, will also develop and implement the industry transformation maps highlighted in this year's Budget speech. These maps aim to help more than 20 sectors keep pace with structural changes in the economy.

The new council will comprise 26 members from the Government, industry, unions, and educational and training institutions. These include Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education & Skills) Ong Ye Kung as well as Ms Mary Liew, who is president of the National Trades Union Congress. Other members include Mr Lim Ming Yan, who is president and group chief executive of CapitaLand.

"The CSIP builds on the momentum we have seen in the last two years," said Mr Tharman. "It is especially important that we extend the good progress seen in the externally-oriented sectors to the domestically-oriented sectors. It takes time, but can be done."

The new council will advance SkillsFuture, helping to develop an integrated system of education, training and career development. It will also drive the transformation of industries in Singapore by helping to develop skills and push for innovation, internationalisation and greater productivity.

In addition, the council will take into account recommendations of the Committee on the Future Economy, which will be released later this year, and oversee their implementation in the medium and long term. "We must persist, and work simultaneously on skills development, catalysing industry innovation and productivity transformation in every sector," Mr Tharman said.

Linette Lai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'New tripartite council to steer skills drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe