10 new courses in built environment sector available soon for mid-career people

Education Minister Lawrence Wong (left) observing an AR/VR demonstration at Singapore Polytechnic on Aug 27, 2020. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Mid-career people looking for new roles in the built environment sector can soon take up more courses to learn the relevant skills.

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) said some 900 opportunities in the sector will be progressively made available from this month, with support from various training providers, including the BCA Academy, Institute of Technical Education, National University of Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

More than 10 new courses related to the sector, in areas such as construction and facilities management, security and environmental services, will be offered.

These opportunities are being rolled out as part of the SGUnited Skills Programme, a full-time training programme ranging from six to 12 months that is tailored for people looking to upgrade their skills while job-hunting.

SSG chief executive Ong Tze Ch'in told reporters during a media visit to SP on Thursday (Aug 27) that there is a range of courses spread out over sectors.

"We are closely watching demand and interest from job-seekers and we are prepared to adjust as required, depending on where the interests are and where the skill sets of those who are joining us are," he said.

During the visit to SP, Education Minister Lawrence Wong sat in on a class conducted for one of the new courses - the specialist diploma in building information modelling (BIM) management - where he observed the trainees learning how to use a computer program to design a building virtually.

SSG said it works with the various training providers and industry leaders to ensure that the courses are designed to equip trainees with in-demand skills that companies are looking for.

The specialist diploma in BIM management is a 12-month course that costs $1,000, though trainees may use their SkillsFuture credits to offset the fee.

SSG and SP have partnered real estate group CapitaLand and infrastructure company CPG Corporation in this programme to prepare trainees for job opportunities in digital design, project management and smart facilities management.

The two companies will also be looking to hire from the pool of trainees once the course ends.

Ms Violet Chew, 45, who used to work as an electrical drafter drawing up electrical plans, was one of the trainees present in the BIM management class on Thursday.

She said she was retrenched in June and found it difficult to get another job in the construction industry.

"I decided to take up this course to enhance my skills and open up more options to apply for other jobs, apart from a drafter.

"This will enhance my knowledge, especially in the area of management and coordination, as well as technical skills."

Since the launch of the SGUnited Skills Programme in July, close to 700 trainees have enrolled in 40 courses.

SSG's Mr Ong said this is good progress, adding: "The SGUnited Skills Programme was designed for mid-careerists or mid-career workers, and I'm heartened to see that about more than 50 per cent of the enrolments are for persons aged 40 and above. So I think that's a heartening sign of good progress."

There are other applications - close to 10,000 - that are still being processed, for courses that have yet to start, Mr Ong said.

"We will do our very best to meet market demand."

Other institutes of higher learning have previously announced courses in other sectors under this programme.

The Singapore Management University last month announced courses covering business and environmental sustainability, innovation and digital transformation.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.