SkillsFuture Council holds first meeting; names 25 members

SINGAPORE - The council driving the national effort to develop a workforce with relevant skills met for the first time on Wednesday.

The SkillsFuture Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, comprises 25 representatives from the government, unions, employers and education and training institutes.

In a media release, the Council laid out its focus: to develop a system of education, training and career guidance, a high-quality lifelong learning process tailored to industry needs and career progression frameworks. It also plans to foster a culture that supports lifelong learning and respect for every job.

Starting this month, it takes over the oversight of continuing education and training from the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council, which has been renamed the National Productivity Council and is also chaired by DPM Tharman.

DPM Tharman said on Wednesday that the SkillsFuture Council will start by developing frameworks for "priority sectors" next year, laying out career advancement paths based on skills.

The Council will also focus in its first year on creating deeper internships in industries like retail, logistics and food and beverage, and oversee the development of more place and train programmes.

DPM Tharman added that the push for skills mastery is part of Singapore's journey towards becoming an advanced economy and will benefit not just the economy but society as well.

SkillsFuture Council members (two-year term)

1.Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (Chairman)

2.Mr Lim Hng Kiang

Minister for Trade and Industry

3.Mr Heng Swee Keat

Minister for Education

4.Mr Chan Chun Sing

Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence

5.Mr Tan Chuan-Jin

Minister for Manpower

6.Mr Lee Yi Shyan

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development

7.Ms Indranee Rajah

Senior Minister of State for Law and Education

8.Mr Lim Swee Say

Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress

9.Ms K. Thanaletchimi

President, Health Services Employees' Union

10.Dr Robert Yap

President, Singapore National Employers Federation

11.Mr Teo Siong Seng

Chairman, Singapore Business Federation

12.Mr Allen Law

CEO, Park Hotel Group

13.Mr Andrew Chong

Regional President & Managing Director, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

14.Adjunct Professor Aziz Amirali Merchant

Executive Director (Engineering), Keppel FELS Limited

15.Mr Bernard How

Premier Services Director, APAC Services, Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd

16.Ms Denise Phua

President, Autism Resource Centre (Singapore); School Supervisor, Pathlight and Eden School Boards

17.Mr George Quek

Chairman, BreadTalk Group Ltd

18.Ms Grace Yow

Executive Vice President (Manufacturing) and Managing Director, Singapore, Fluidigm

19.Mr Oscar de Bok

CEO, APAC, DHL Supply Chain

20.Mr Peter Meinshausen

Regional President, South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Evonik

21.Mr Suhaimi Bin Rafdi

CEO, Leisure & Entertainment, Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd

22.Mr Victor Chia

CEO, Cold Storage Singapore (1983) Pte Ltd

23.Mr Zulkifli Bin Baharudin

Chairman, ITL Corporation

24.Professor Tan Thiam Soon

President, Singapore Institute of Technology

25.Mr Tan Choon Shian

Principal & CEO, Singapore Polytechnic