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Basic IT lessons among most popular courses under SkillsFuture movement

SINGAPORE – The most popular SkillsFuture courses attended by Singaporeans are mostly related to information technology, including basic classes on how to use computers and tablets, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Monday (Feb 19).

SINGAPORE – The most popular SkillsFuture courses attended by Singaporeans are mostly related to information technology, including basic classes on how to use computers and tablets, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Monday (Feb 19).

Responding to a question filed by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament Zainal Sapari on what are the top 10 SkillsFuture courses that Singaporeans have enrolled in, Mr Ong said most of the top courses eligible for SkillsFuture Credit are IT-related.

The top three courses between Jan 2016 and December last year are on the basic functions and applications of a computer, basic computer classes in Chinese and primary functions and applications of a tablet, he said.

Other popular courses include private hire car driver’s vocational licence, food and beverage safety, and basic Chinese restaurant cooking courses, said the minister.

In a media briefing earlier this month, SkillsFuture Singapore’s (SSG) chief executive Ng Cher Pong revealed that over 285,000 working adult Singaporeans have benefited from SkillsFuture Credit, three years after its launch.

The credit scheme provides Singaporeans aged 25 and above with a S$500 credit to take up training courses to upgrade their skills and promote lifelong learning.

Although it was difficult to ascertain if the training had led to “better jobs or new jobs”, Mr Ong said one of the key objectives of the SkillsFuture Credit scheme “is to empower individuals to take ownership of their skills development, and open up their minds to embrace a lifelong learning journey.”

“Judging by the take up and types of courses most people enrolled in, we believe the scheme has achieved this objective,” he said.

He added in Parliament that there were other schemes such as the Professional Conversion Programmes, Place and Train, and Adapt and Grow initiatives to help drive such efforts.

Responding to a further question by Mr Zainal on whether courses such as Korean language should be funded by SkillsFuture, Mr Ong noted that such courses is only one aspect of the broader SkillsFuture movement, which aims to make Singaporeans responsible for their own upgrading journey, and encourages lifelong learning.

“It is about changing the mindset that we all can be responsible for our own upgrading,” Mr Ong said.

“As to whether some people pick up flower arrangements, or cooking, we don’t judge. If we put S$500 vouchers in everyone’s hands, (we have to) trust that people exercise their judgement, that decision to do a course that is most beneficial to them,” he said.

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