New road map launched to support workplace learning and worker employability

Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang at the launch of the road map.
Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang at the launch of the road map. PHOTO: INSTITUTE FOR ADULT LEARNING

SINGAPORE - Companies here will receive greater support in implementing workplace learning with the launch of a new road map that aims to ensure the employability and continued relevance of mid-career workers.

As part of the effort to develop the training and adult education (TAE) sector, the Singapore University of Social Sciences' Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) launched a five-year strategic road map on Thursday (Oct 22).

A third National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning will be opening this year. It will help develop work-team capabilities and advance workplace learning in enterprises.

The centre will lend its expertise to small and medium-sized enterprises and help them integrate workplace learning practices and systems for business resilience, such as by helping them build in-house training systems.

In addition, the IAL will undertake studies on lifelong and workplace learning to determine their impact on digital innovation. It will also research the impact of globalisation and technological shifts on learning and employment outcomes.

The institute will create new avenues for enterprises to access resources. It will also make its network of TAE practitioners accessible, to help those seeking to implement workplace learning and transformation practices.

Launching the road map on Thursday, Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang highlighted how the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in the workplace and how that has created a need to train providers to adapt to online platforms.

Over the next five years, the institute will continue providing avenues for educators to learn and upgrade. This includes targeted learning for TAE practitioners who are keen to keep their skills current, as well as formal learning programmes which could build towards a degree or post-graduate qualifications. The IAL will also award badges to recognise the competencies of industry practitioners.

"With a robust plan laid out for the next five years, IAL is well-positioned to lead the transformation of the TAE sector to support the next bound of SkillsFuture," she said, noting that the vision is for IAL to be the go-to authority on the TAE sector.

The IAL's iN.LAB, which was established five years ago to spur innovation in adult learning, also announced a new partnership with key industry players within the learning innovation community on Thursday. They include start-up incubator Spaze Ventures and artificial intelligence solution provider VisionarySchoolmen.

The network is intended to provide support to start-ups through mentorship and internship opportunities, and through exploring commercialisation of prototypes.

In the next five years, IAL also intends to bring the TAE community together to explore and foster learning innovation more closely.

IAL executive director Lee Wing On emphasised that the next five years are very significant to the TAE sector and for Singapore.

"The sands are shifting globally and training needs are evolving to keep up with the opportunities and challenges of the future economy," he said.

"As a champion of the TAE sector, we stand at a critical juncture to develop a sustainable and competitive workforce at a time when the paradigms of training and learning are moving towards new innovations and greater digital possibilities."