SkillsFuture getai for Bukit Panjang residents

(From left) Mr Hao Hao, Ms Liu Ling Ling, Ms Guo Min, Mr Sam Loo, and Mr Wang Weiliang, performing a skit on stage at the "SkillsFuture Roadshow @ Bukit Panjang" on Dec 17, 2017.
(From left) Mr Hao Hao, Ms Liu Ling Ling, Ms Guo Min, Mr Sam Loo, and Mr Wang Weiliang, performing a skit on stage at the "SkillsFuture Roadshow @ Bukit Panjang" on Dec 17, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A getai performance, held at Pending Road on Sunday night (Dec 17), had all the familiar elements popular Chinese stage act - choreographed dance moves, quick-witted repertoire, slapstick humour and familiar songs.

But mixed in with the entertainment was a serious message - that of getting Singaporeans to prepare themselves for the future economy.

In skits mixing Mandarin with splashes of Hokkien, Malay and English, getai performers including veterans Liu Ling Ling and Hao Hao entertained some 800 Bukit Panjang residents, while educating them on the benefits of SkillsFuture.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above receive $500 from the Government in training credits that they can use to pay for various courses under the national SkillsFuture programme.

On Dec 10, the North West Community Development Council (CDC) introduced SkillsFuture Advice @ North West, a one-and-a-half hour workshop aimed at educated residents on the resources available to them for career planning and skills upgrading.

Over the next three years, North West CDC aims to hold about 1,000 workshops to reach out to 20,000 residents, to get them to educate themselves.

There is still a lack of understanding of what SkillsFuture has to offer Singaporeans, said said North West District Mayor Teo Ho Pin.

"It will take the community some time to digest the information, so we have to present it to them in an effective manner."

An interactive getai is one of the ways the CDC hopes to reach out to the Chinese community, he said, adding that it is planning for other events to reach out to other communities.

One of the performers, 30-year-old actor and singer Wang Wei Liang, said providing the information in a comedic way, such as through skits, could be more effective in getting the message across.

"It makes it easier for people to absorb the information," he said.