Forum: Focus is on delivering responsive and relevant adult education

We refer to the letters, “Lifelong learning not enough to thrive in an increasingly volatile economy” (Nov 4) and “Allow adult learners to choose modules according to needs” (Nov 10).

We agree that innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation are critical to generating growth and opportunities. Individuals and companies must have relevant skill sets, and lifelong learning is a necessary enabler in this journey, alongside a growth mindset and confidence to venture into new areas.

Initiatives such as the SG United Jobs and Skills package have achieved meaningful outcomes, with many learners successfully placed in new sectors after their training. These learners succeeded also because they were open to the challenge of learning a new field, and were committed to making the transition work.

We recognise that adult learners have varying needs, given their personal and work commitments. In recent years, we have strived to offer just-in-time, bite-size upskilling through industry-relevant modules, and better recognise a person’s prior learning and work experience. We will continue to improve our lifelong learning system, to deliver adult education that is effective, responsive and relevant.

First, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) is sharpening our tools to identify in-demand skills, so that the training provision for such skills can be activated quickly.

Second, we will continue to encourage the adoption of edu-tech and online learning so that working adults can easily access learning tools while juggling work and family commitments.

Third, we are working closely with companies to ensure that training is industry-relevant. Through the Skills Development Partnership and the SkillsFuture Queen Bee programme, SSG partners trade associations and industry leaders to reach out to companies to aggregate their enterprise needs for training and upskilling.

Finally, we are doing more to raise the quality of adult educators and training providers. To this end, the Institute for Adult Learning was recently designated as the National Centre of Excellence, to uplift the training and adult education sector.

A successful lifelong learning system requires individuals, companies and training institutions to play their part. The community of adult educators plays a key role in helping learners gain the confidence and skill sets to take on a new task or even transit to a new job.

Patricia Woo

Director, Corporate and Marketing Communications Division

SkillsFuture Singapore

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