SkillsFuture upskilling: From education enterprise to legal tech sector

While unemployed, Ms Juliana Dawood heard about the Government's move to provide Singaporeans with additional SkillsFuture credit, and thought it would be a good time to check out some courses.
While unemployed, Ms Juliana Dawood heard about the Government's move to provide Singaporeans with additional SkillsFuture credit, and thought it would be a good time to check out some courses.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JULIANA DAWOOD

SINGAPORE - Ms Juliana Dawood had been working at an education enterprise as an executive assistant for less than three months when she lost her job on January 13.

Ten days later, Singapore saw its first case of Covid-19.

While unemployed, Ms Dawood, who is single, heard about the Government's move to provide Singaporeans with additional SkillsFuture credit, and thought it would be a good time to check out some courses.

The 36-year-old had used some of her SkillsFuture opening credit of $500 to take a Microsoft Excel course before she lost her job.

When she learnt that the Government was going to top up her SkillsFuture account with another $500, she contacted NTUC Learning Hub.

She was told she could tap the top-up amount in advance of its roll out in October this year.

In May, she took a Business Analytics course with data analytics platform Qlik Sense, and in the following three months, completed 11 more courses.

The course fees, which were subsidised, ranged from about $20 to just over $100 each, adding up to a total of $453.15.

Ms Dawood has a degree in business management from the University of Greenwich in Britain.

Among the slew of courses she took was Project Management for All, provided by NTUC Learning Hub.

Said Ms Dawood: "One of the jobs I applied to required a project management certification, and the Project Management for All course gave me a leg up."

She is now working as a court reporter manager for Opus 2, which digitises legal proceedings such as transcription, virtual hearings, and electronic presentation evidence.

Her role is to manage a diary for freelance court reporters and match their software skills to different types of services and platforms.

Said Ms Dawood: "This job is entirely different from my previous experiences as I had never worked in a legal tech sector, nor was I familiar with the software or platform used.

"I was keen to challenge myself and branch out into a different sector," she said, adding that her 14 years of work experience made it easier to adapt.

"Mid-career change is not so scary if you are willing to learn and be flexible."