350 activities to take part in at first SkillsFuture fest

People can even use mobile app to join happenings remotely in five-week event

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

The inaugural SkillsFuture festival, which will run till Aug 4, will see more than 350 learning activities across the island, including forums with industry leaders as well and free skills demonstrations.

Organiser SkillsFuture Singapore said yesterday that more than 200 community partners will be participating, and it hopes to attract over 70,000 people.

For the first time, people can take part in the festival remotely through the MySkillsFuture app.

Through the app, they can also buy discounted e-books from publisher McGraw-Hill Education and peruse 350 discounted courses of 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 courses that average about 25 hours each, covering eight emerging sectors in Singapore, including data analytics, digital media and cybersecurity. Each course spans basic, intermediate and advanced levels, and are anchored primarily by the institutes.

As part of the festivities, the biennial WorldSkills Singapore competition will take place from July 5 to 7, where the top youth in skills like information and network cabling, as well as health and social care will be crowned and chosen to represent Singapore in 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 skills demonstrations by training volunteers.

One of them is Miss Chee Sau Fen, founder of Heads of State Millinery.

The 44-year-old is a self-taught designer who will show how she makes hats using sustainable materials. She hopes it will coax people to learn new skills.

"When they discover it is not difficult to do, I hope there is an inner awakening that will drive them to go and learn it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline '350 activities to take part in at first SkillsFuture fest'. Print Edition | Subscribe