50,000 attend skills upgrading and career planning workshops

Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung and Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District, chat with Mr Muhammad Syafiq Mohammad Ali, who was helped by the SkillsFuture Advice programme, during an event to mark the anniversary of SkillsFuture Advice @ North
Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung and Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District, chat with Mr Muhammad Syafiq Mohammad Ali, who was helped by the SkillsFuture Advice programme, during an event to mark the anniversary of SkillsFuture Advice @ North West on Jan 5, 2019.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Around 50,000 Singaporeans have attended workshops to help them find courses that will boost their skills and career plans.

The SkillsFuture Advice programme was set up in October 2017 as part of the SkillsFuture movement which aims to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to develop their education, training and job prospects.

The 90-minute workshops are targeted at fresh entrants to the job market, working professionals, mid-career switchers, returning professionals and seniors and aim to make them aware of which SkillsFuture training courses they can attend.

On Saturday (Jan 5), an event was held at Nee Soon South Community Club to mark the anniversary of SkillsFuture Advice @ North West - which serves the north-western part of the island and has already helped around 10,000 people through more than 300 workshops.

Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung, who was guest of honour, said: "As a national programme, it has done very well. We have reached out to 50,000 individuals across the island."

Among those who benefited from the workshops is Mr Muhammad Syafiq Mohammad Ali, 29. After suffering a stroke in 2015, he lost function of the left side of his body and subsequently his job as a technician.

In 2017, he joined the Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations (Able) where he went through rehabilitation. The organisation suggested he enrol in the SkillsFuture Advice programme. "After that, I went for the effective communication course with SkillsFuture and got a job as a telemarketer," he said. "The programme helped me understand my capabilities and apply my skills."

The workshop also helped 68-year-old retiree Ong Day Cong pick up new skills to re-enter the workforce as a security guard. She previously worked as a photographer for 32 years before retiring in 2015.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District, said a survey of 500 workshop participants showed that 40 per cent have either embarked on a skills upgrading programme or plan to do so. "Indeed it is very encouraging that Singaporeans want to take the opportunity to upgrade themselves," he said.

"By 2020, we hope to conduct at least 1,000 worshops for Singaporeans to empower more residents to better take charge of their skills upgrading and career development."

"It is important that every Singaporean adopts lifelong learning as part of our living habit and continue to learn."