Inaugural learning festival with 350 activities; many discounted courses and e-books

The inaugural SkillsFuture festival will feature forums with industry leaders as well as free skills demonstrations.
The inaugural SkillsFuture festival will feature forums with industry leaders as well as free skills demonstrations.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SKILLSFUTURE SG

SINGAPORE - A five-week festival that offers discounts for e-books and online skills courses will be unveiled on June 30 for Singapore workers who want to improve their skills and learn new things.

The inaugural SkillsFuture festival will also feature forums with industry leaders as well as free skills demonstrations.

These are among more than 350 learning activities that will be available across the island until Aug 4, said organiser SkillsFuture Singapore on Thursday (June 21).

More than 200 community, education and industry partners are taking part in it and the goal is to attract over 70,000 people.

They can take part in the festival remotely through the MySkillsFuture app, which has been downloaded more than 19,000 times since it was launched in October 2017.

This app is also the avenue through which to buy discounted e-books from publisher McGraw-Hill Education.

The discounted courses, totalling 350, are offered by online learning platform Udemy.

There will also be panel discussions, including The Straits Times-SkillsFuture Singapore SkillsFuture Forum at which leading companies, such as Google, Samsung and Deloitte, will give an insight into the future of work and skills. People will hear, among other things, the efforts taken to improve their workplace and the skills needed for today's economy.

Institutes of higher learning will be involved too. On July 16 and 17, workshops and talks that showcase the SkillsFuture Series programmes will be held at Singapore Management University.

SkillsFuture Series are bite-sized courses that average about 25 hours each, covering eight emerging sectors on Singapore, including data analytics, digital media and cyber security. Each course spans basic, intermediate and advanced levels, and they are anchored primarily by the institutes.

There will also be a skills competition, from July 5 to 7, to crown Singapore's top young people with skills such as information and network cabling, aircraft maintenance as well as in health and social care.

This WorldSkills Singapore competition is a biennial event and the top medallists will represent Singapore at international skills competitions.

The festival, a reboot of the annual Lifelong Learning Festival that was launched in 2014, will start with a two-day event on June 30 and July 1 at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar.

People who attend can find out about different SkillsFuture initiatives and take part in skill demonstrations held by training volunteers.

Miss Chee Sau Fen, founder of Heads of State Millinery, is one such volunteer. A self-taught designer, she makes hats for women, using environmentally conscious methods and sustainable materials.

The 44-year-old will conduct free workshops on how she makes the different parts of the hats and she hopes it will inspire people to learn the skill.

Said Miss Chee: "When they discover how it is done and find it not difficult, I hope there is an inner awakening that will drive them to go and learn it."