NTUC calls for new training account to help Singaporean workers upgrade their skills

SINGAPORE - The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Monday (Jan 26) called for the setting up of an individual training account - Skillsave account - for every Singaporean worker.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay mooted the idea during a visit to NTUC LearningHub on Monday. Such an initiative would help workers prepare for the future even as Singapore undergoes economic restructuring and transformation, said the labour movement in a press release on Monday.

The individual training account will help workers take personal responsibility for their own training needs and career planning.

The Labour Movement said it has been lobbying for such an account to be set up for workers since the early 1990s. A similar training initiative set up in the 2000s with four of NTUC's social enterprises ended in 2009.

One important aspect of the new Skillsave account is that it should be portable and seamless, meaning it follows the worker even if he or she changes jobs or switches careers.

The idea of an individual training account for every Singapore worker will allow for a follow through on recent announcements such as the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review(Aspire), Continuing Education and Training (CET) 2020 plan and the SkillsFuture council.

The SkillsFuture Council was formed in September 2014 to drive initiatives aimed at giving every Singaporean the opportunity to develop themselves to the fullest. It will drive initiatives to ensure an integrated system of learning, pre-and post-employment in collaboration with all stakeholders - employers, training providers, unions and individuals.

The Skillsave Account will help address current gaps for some workers who do not have access to the Workfare Training Support Scheme, said the press release.