After being let go from his job in corporate sales for an events company last March, Mr Muhammad Khairunnizam Lukman decided he needed to tap his training and explore the IT industry.
The 34-year-old, who has a diploma from Singapore Polytechnic in business management and IT, is one of 1,650 locals who joined a training programme overseen by technology giant Google as part of its Skills Ignition SG initiative.
Mr Khairunnizam, who began his course in September, had stumbled on information about the programme on social media. His brother, who works in IT, encouraged him to pursue the cloud technology course, and told him that it would provide him with good career progression opportunities.
A father of three children aged between three and seven, Mr Khairunnizam has since picked up new skills such as programming.
About 60 per cent of the participants in the six-month scheme are aged 40 and above. They get a monthly training allowance of $1,500 and will get a certificate after they complete the course.
Mr Khairunnizam had initially thought the programme would be very difficult, but has gained confidence through practice and guidance from the course's trainers.
"When I see people who are older than me, who are willing to learn and upskill themselves, it gives me a sense of motivation," he said. "Learning should be a lifelong journey. It's not something that you should stop halfway... and we should always be open to learning new things."