SINGAPORE - Ever since he took his N levels in 1995, Mr Abdul Jamil Muhammad, 47, found that he needed to upgrade his knowledge and skills.
The senior technician tried thrice to apply for diplomas, but was turned away each time because he lacked O-level qualifications.
But now, thanks to the first SkillsFuture Study Awards for the power sector, he is pursuing a Higher Nitec in Technology in mechanical engineering.
These 10 bond-free awards, worth $5,000 each, are meant for mid-career Singaporeans looking to develop and deepen their skills in the power sector.
They support a range of courses at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnic, university and government academy levels.
The awards were given by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling on Wednesday (Oct 25), the third day of the Singapore International Energy Week 2017 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands.
Said Mr Jamil, who wants to become an engineer: "I am not intending to stop here, and hope that I can go on to take up a diploma course at the polytechnic."
Also announced was the SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative, which will begin in 2018.
Administered by the Singapore Institute of Power and Gas, the programme aims to train future energy leaders to drive the energy industry through a landscape that faces challenges such as disruptive technologies, tougher regulations and increasing consumer demands, said an SP Group spokesman.
Firms in the energy sector can nominate their high-performing employees, with more details to be released later.
Earlier in the day, the six recipients of the Energy-Industry Scholarship were announced as well. This scholarship, open to ITE and polytechnic students, intends to develop talent for the power sector.
Ms Teo Mei Fang, 19, a second-year electrical and electronic engineering student at Singapore Polytechnic, said: "I grew up in a family of engineers. My father and brother inspired me to pursue an engineering career and I want to prove that females can do this job well, if not better."
She will join SP Group after finishing her course.
The scholarships were announced by Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry Sim Ann at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.