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Singapore has recently launched the SkillsFuture Series

QS Wow News (online), 11 December 2017 - A total $70 million worth of expenses will be used over a span of three years to train 50,000 Singaporeans annually by 2020 in key evolving sectors such as data analytics and cyber security through short term programmes.

Singapore has recently launched the SkillsFuture Series, which is aimed at increasing the number of vocational adult learning courses found in tertiary institutions from Universities to Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

A total $70 million worth of expenses will be used over a span of three years to train 50,000 Singaporeans annually by 2020 in key evolving sectors such as data analytics and cyber security through short term programmes.

This initiative is an indication for tertiary institutions, particularly universities that are conventionally fixated on academia, to be more engaged in addressing the economic threats encountered by Singapore in this digital era. The short term programmes can help employees in determining if they have disposition for new responsibilities in a changing industry, or to move over to a different enterprise that is facing a manpower shortage.

Traditionally, some adults have concern about signing up for vocational training due to the varying level of prestige in professional certifications as opposed to a master’s degree. Last year, only 42 percent of the workforce went for training that was relevant to their jobs.

However, with adjustments made, allowing some of the new SkillsFuture Series courses to be accumulated into academic credits that allow one to get a master’s degree after several courses, it can serve as a selling point for more professionals to settle for training in sectors that are lacking labor pool.

With plans made to increase the expenditure on vocational training, Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung shared that a reassessment on ministry funding for “purely academic” master’s courses in universities could be carried out. This could serve as a driving force for universities to enhance their postgraduate programmes so that they are more relevant to job market demands.

However, it is still critical to note that academic programmes pass on intangible skill sets such as critical thinking that are very much valued by employers across all sectors. Therefore, it should not be undermined at the expense of vocational training.

Source: http://qswownews.com/singapore-launched-skillsfuture-series/

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