SINGAPORE – A new plan for Singapore’s training and adult education industry was rolled out on Thursday (Aug 13) amid job uncertainties and an increased emphasis on online learning brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It provides corporate trainers and educators with a step-by-step guide on the digital solutions and new skills needed as the industry pivots towards new ways of delivering lessons.
For example, the plan recommends these training providers start off by digitising administrative processes and moving training resources online. Once this first step is completed, they can then look into digital marketing or using artificial intelligence technologies to developed a customised curriculum for each learner for smarter coaching.
A new initiative will also be launched next month (September)with the aim of pairing 200 training providers over three years with digital curriculum developers who will guide them in creating and delivering online lessons.
These changes are part of the local training and adult education sector’s Industry Digital Plan (IDP). The plan was jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL).
It is meant for the 20,000 workers across private education institutions, corporate training organisations, and public sector training institutions like the Civil Service College Singapore.
Announcing the launch of the plan at the biennial Adult Learning Symposium, Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang said Covid-19 has already brought about a fundamental transformation of the workplace and classroom.
“There has never been a stronger need for workers to adapt by shifting into new job roles and picking up new skills,” said Ms Gan.
At the same time, the sector itself will not be spared from the disruption that workers and businesses across Singapore are experiencing today, she added, and it will have to accelerate the pace of its digitalisation.
She pointed to existing subsidies of up to 80 per cent under the Productivity Solutions Grant that support training providers who adopt pre-approved digital solutions to create and deliver digital content.
A new National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning, with a focus on adult educators, will also be launched later this year at IAL in Eunos Road to support training providers in the training and development of their workers.
“But the digital transformation of the (adult education) sector needs to go deeper than providing more online learning,” said Ms Gan. “Training providers... need to fundamentally digitalise your organisations in order to unlock operational efficiencies, streamline routine processes, and glean insights from data.”
The new Industry Digital Plan will guide SME training providers in this journey, she said.
Recruitment agency Adecco Singapore’s country manager Betul Genc said demand for talent with IT expertise is likely to keep growing as businesses digitalise in response to the pandemic, especially in areas such as cyber security.
She added: “The training and adult education sector has to play a a collaborative and engaging role with both employers and talent to keep up to date on emerging or in-demand skills. It also has to go in-depth into the challenges (encountered) in encouraging upskilling and reskilling.”