Over 100,000 Singaporeans to be trained in basic digital skills over next 3 years under SkillsFuture

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung joining participants in a SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace course at the Lifelong Learning Institute on Oct 5, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Participants practise posting items up for sale on Carousell via the iPad during a SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace course at the Lifelong Learning Institute on Oct 5, 2017. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) aims to train over 100,000 Singaporeans over the next three years in basic digital skills to help Singaporeans adapt to a changing workplace.

Singaporeans will pick up digital skills from using mobile applications to managing data to making cashless payments.

The initiative, known as SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, aims to help Singaporeans gain "digital confidence" and a positive attitude towards technological disruptions.

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung launched the programme on Thursday (Oct 5), saying that the national exercise to uplift workers' skills is modelled after the efforts in the 1980s to build up the workforce's literacy and numeracy - essential skills at that time - through two programmes, Best and Wise.

The new programme consists of two-day courses, which cost a flat fee of $50 in total per applicant. The courses will introduce participants to the potential of technology in their jobs and personal lives, and how it can be used to their advantage through different ways.

These include interpreting and using data, adopting work productivity tools that could save time and cost, and navigating common applications in areas such as e-payment, food delivery and transportation.

They can also gain insights into cybersecurity dangers and learn about technology trends in the food and beverage, and hospitality industries, from kitchen automation and digital ordering to robotic servers and data analytics.

Since the programme's pilot run in July, more than 330 participants from 21 companies such as Maybank and Courts have been trained. The participants in the pilot are aged 35 and above.

SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong said that acquiring digital skills is essential for Singaporeans to tap the new opportunities from the "digital transformation of the economy".

He said that there is strong interest in the programme from the public and employers.

There are no age restrictions on who can apply for the programme, and Mr Ng clarified that the initiative is not aimed at older Singaporeans.

The courses will be held at the training providers' locations, community venues or the Lifelong Learning Institute at Eunos.

For a start, there are seven training partners such as Nanyang Polytechnic, Capelle Academy, NTUC LearningHub and Rohei Corporation.

They worked with tech companies like Microsoft and Lazada to develop the content of their courses.

All polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education and tech firm IBM will join the programme as training partners by the end of the year.

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