Amidst rapid changing in business world, a new national programme aiming to boost Singaporeans’ confidence towards digitalised economy was launched on Thursday (Oct 5). Entitled as SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, the initiative aims to provide training in basic digital skills for more than 100,000 locals over the next three years.
The sole purpose of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) is to help Singaporeans gain ‘digital confidence’ and have a positive attitude towards technological disruptions. Under the scheme, local residents can pick up various digital skills that will help them thrive in rapidly changing workplace, from using mobile applications, managing data, to making cashless payments.
Speaking at the programme launching, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said that the national initiative to elevate workers’ skills is modelled after the efforts in the 1980s to build up the workforce’s literacy and numeracy, through two programmes known as Best and Wise.
Meanwhile, the new programme consists of two-day courses, which cost a flat fee of $50 in total per applicant. The courses will introduce participants to how technology could contribute to their jobs and personal lives, as well as how it can be used to their own advantages through different methods. These include interpreting and using data, adopting work productivity tools that could save more time and cost, and navigating common applications in areas such as e-payment, food delivery and transportation.
Additionally, the participants will also gain insights into cybersecurity dangers and learn about recent technology trends in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, from kitchen automation and digital ordering to robotic servers and data analytics. Since the pilot programme was launched in July, it has trained more than 330 participants from 21 companies such as Maybank and courts.
SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong said that acquiring digital skills is essential for Singaporeans to tap into new opportunities from the digital transformation of the economy. He stated that there is strong interest in the programme from both public and employers. While the participants in the pilot are aged 35 and above, Mr Ng said that everyone can apply for the programme. There is no age restrictions in the programme, because not only older Singaporeans are invited to join it.
The courses will be held at the training providers’ locations, community venues or the Lifelong Learning Institute at Eunos. For a start, there are seven training partners such as Nanyang Polytechnic, Capelle Academy, NTUC LearningHub and Rohei Corporation. They collaborated with tech companies like Microsoft and Lazada to develop the content of their courses.
All polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education and tech firm IBM will join the programme as training partners by the end of the year, Straits Times reports.