Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is leading a ‘SkillsFuture’ delegation to the European countries Switzerland and Sweden from 6 to 12 May 2015.
SkillsFuture is a national movement to provide Singaporeans with the opportunities to develop their fullest potential throughout life, regardless of their starting points. Through this movement, the skills, passion and contributions of every individual will drive Singapore’s next phase of development towards an advanced economy and inclusive society.
The SkillsFuture delegation will be engaging various government bodies, education and training providers, and companies from several industries. It aims to better understand approaches in the two countries for assuring high-quality education and training, and the commitment of employers to investing in workers’ career-long development.
Singapore’s idea behind SkillsFuture is that no matter where you are in life – schooling years, early career, mid-career or silver years – you will find a variety of resources to help you attain mastery of skills. Skills mastery is more than having the right paper qualifications and being good at what you do currently; it is a mind-set of continually striving towards greater excellence through knowledge, application and experience. With the help of the SkillsFuture Council, education and training providers, employers, unions – citizens can own a better future with skills mastery and lifelong learning.
In developing its people Singapore states:
– We have built a first-rate school system in Singapore. Compared to other countries, our students do better than their peers in learning. Importantly, we have achieved high average performance while avoiding the very large disparities in outcomes that many other education systems have.
– We have also built highly credible Institutes of Higher Learning. We are investing more in our ITE, Polytechnics and Universities to enhance quality and affordability, and to offer more diverse pathways for Singaporeans to choose to advance themselves.
– We have also been developing a system of continuing education and training.
In the next phase of development lifelong learning is key.
“We will build on these foundations to create a new environment for lifelong learning. It is critical to our future. It will develop the skills and mastery needed to take our economy to the next level. More fundamentally, it aims to empower each Singaporean to chart their own journey in life, and gain fulfilment at work, and even in their senior years.”
Singapore calls this development effort SkillsFuture. It marks a major new phase of investment in our people, throughout life, including:
- Starting in the Schooling Years
- SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme
- Targeted Support for Career Progression
- A New Industry Collaboration
“A key challenge in SkillsFuture is to help uplift a significant base of our SMEs, and involve them in this process of skills development. This will not happen naturally – many of our SMEs lack their own training capacity and are unable to plan for the future.”