Skills learnt in NS may get work certification

Plans mooted to speed up transition to working life after national service

Skills that NS-men learn during their service might get work certification. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Skills that NS-men learn during their service might get work certification. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

There are plans to certify skills learnt during national service in the armed forces so that they will be better recognised in the work place.

A Workforce Development Agency (WDA) spokesman revealed this yesterday, after a deal for civil defence servicemen was confirmed.

Under the scheme announced yesterday, certain courses taught by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to its national servicemen, both full-time and operationally-ready, will earn them Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) certification.

The WSQ is a national crediting system that trains, develops and assesses the skills of employees.

It is based on national standards developed by WDA in collaboration with various industries.

The type of courses that fall under the scheme include SCDF's section commander course, the fire fighter course, and the emergency medical technician course.

Under the tie-up, SCDF servicemen can earn credits towards a WSQ certificate during their stint in national service.

They can earn more credits on their own time, or when they return for reservist duties.

It aims to make it easier for those who recently completed national service to get jobs and ease the transition to working life.

Some 2,000 SCDF servicemen are expected to benefit every year from this collaboration, plans for which were first announced last year.

It was sealed with yesterday's signing of a memorandum of understanding between the SCDF and WDA.

SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap said: "The WSQ certification will benefit our national service personnel by providing them with industry-recognised certifications for competencies they acquire during their national service."

Mr T. Mogan, president of the Security Association (Singapore), said the move will benefit both employees and employers alike.

"WSQ certification is definitely highly important. In the security sector, for instance, people who come out of national service with a certificate in first aid and emergency medical skills will be very helpful to us."

The WDA spokesman told The Straits Times a similar scheme is in the pipeline for the armed forces, but did not give more details.

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