SkillsFuture Advice will help Singaporeans find their “compass,” says Ong Ye Kung
PUBLISHED ON 30 Jul 2017
Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung has announced that a scheme to make it easier for Singaporeans to decide on their requisite upgrading skills, is gaining traction.
 
SkillsFuture Advice - previously known as SkillsFuture Engage - will provide Singaporeans with the necessary guidance in their quest for knowledge and lifelong learning, said Mr Ong, who is also the Second Minister for Defence.
 
As part of the enabling process, Mr Ong said he is in consultation with the five Mayors of Singapore. He added that SkillsFuture Advice will be conducted at convenient locations like the Residents’ Committees or Community Centres where Singaporeans will be invited to attend workshops.
 
Though SkillsFuture has gained wider recognition among Singaporeans, Mr Ong remarked that there is a difference between a lack of a person’s desire to learn and knowing what to learn. Therefore SkillsFuture Advice, “will help people find their compass and go for their training,” added Mr Ong.
 
“We’ll have assessments to help them discover their strengths; where they want to go in terms of their career; what kind of skills they lack. We will then invite them to the SkillsFuture portal to find out what courses will be suitable for them to enable them to develop their potential," explained Mr Ong.
 
Addressing about 120 participants at a closed-door dialogue session, organised by the People’s Action Party’s Policy Forum (PPF), on Saturday, 29 July 2017, Mr Ong expressed concern that many Singaporeans forsake their passion and aptitude for things that they want to do and learn for the sake of academic qualifications.
 
“What I am concerned about is the blind chasing of paper qualifications. I see so many polytechnic students with certain passions like digital animation or early childhood education, who under pressure say they have to get a degree, which they were not interested initially, thinking that the degree will lead them to a better life. I want to challenge and persuade Singaporeans not to give up their passions so quickly because we will build pathways for you to improve, beyond your polytechnic or ITE or NITEC qualifications. If your passion is in digital animation, don’t chase the paper; build your portfolio. That’s what that will make you better; that’s what will make the big companies hire you. SkillsFuture’s core message is about your passion and pursuing it, and the Government’s role is to build the mechanism for you to progress,” reiterated Mr Ong.
 
During the lively hour-long dialogue session, Mr Ong also spoke about keeping seniors at work longer, the future of Singapore’s economy, its competitiveness, and giving a leg up to SMEs and start-ups.
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