1. As we prepare Singapore for the future and continue to push for lifelong learning and skills mastery, SkillsFuture will remain a critical enabler for Singapore's next phase of development. It will support efforts to build a highly skilled workforce and enable enterprise transformation. The 'Next Bound of SkillsFuture' will see an enhanced focus on employers and enterprises, and the contributions they can make to the national movement – we want employers and enterprises, especially SMEs, to play a bigger role in supporting lifelong learning and skills upgrading of their workers.
2. In particular, we will give special focus to helping mid-career workers in their 40s and 50s to stay employable and move on to new jobs or new roles.
3. There are five key initiatives under the Next Bound of SkillsFuture:
- Strengthen the enterprise pillar of the skills ecosystem;
- Enhance workplace learning capabilities;
- Scale up SkillsFuture work-study pathways;
- Encourage and facilitate lifelong learning; and
- Scale up career transition programmes for mid-career workers.
(i) Strengthen the enterprise pillar of the skills ecosystem
4. To strengthen the enterprise pillar, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will work with large anchor enterprises to 'train-for-sector', beyond their own needs. These enterprises, also known as SkillsFuture Queen Bee companies, are industry leaders that can influence and support other companies (in particular SMEs) to scale up their employer-initiated skills development efforts - and in the process, help extend the reach of the SkillsFuture movement.
5. Over the next five years, SSG aims to partner up to 40 SkillsFuture Queen Bee companies to reach out to 4,000 enterprises, especially SMEs. They will add significant capacity and expertise to the current network of Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres. Companies that have come on board as SkillsFuture Queen Bee companies include Bosch Rexroth, SAP, SMRT Corporation Ltd, and SP Group.
(ii) Enhance workplace learning capabilities
6. The National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) was launched at Nanyang Polytechnic in July 2018 to help enhance the ability of companies, especially SMEs, to conduct in-house training. To further accelerate capability building in companies, more centres will be launched at the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), with the next centre to be located at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). By 2025, we target to help more than 1,200 companies, particularly SMEs, build best practices in workplace learning and work-study capabilities.
(iii) Scale up SkillsFuture work-study pathways
7. In 2015, MOE launched the first SkillsFuture Work-Study Programmes (then known as the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes) as a new pathway of learning in our IHLs. Co-developed and co-delivered with employers, these programmes aim to build stronger connections between training and industry needs, and facilitate the placement of fresh graduates into jobs with industry demand. Since then, we have been expanding Work-Study Programmes across the certificate to graduate levels. In 2019, about 2,200 individuals benefitted from these Work-Study pathways.
8. We will further scale up Work-Study Programmes as a mainstream pathway. We are planning to make such pathways available to 12% of each age cohort by 2025, up from 3.5% today.
(iv) Encourage and facilitate lifelong learning
9. To further encourage Singaporeans to reskill and upskill, and to continue learning at every stage of our lives, the Government will provide a one-off top-up of $500 to the SkillsFuture Credit accounts of all eligible Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above as at 31 December 2020. Eligible Singapore Citizens will be able to use the top-up from 1 October 2020. The top-up will expire on 31 December 2025, to encourage Singaporeans to take timely action to pick up new skills.
10. To help individuals make informed training decisions, the digital tools within the MySkillsFuture portal will also be enhanced to provide more customised recommendations on training options.
(v) Scale up career transition programmes for mid-career workers
11. Under the new SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package, the Government will provide greater support for Singaporeans in their 40s and 50s to stay skilled and employable throughout their lives. MOE and MOM will scale up reskilling programmes across different modalities, with the aim of doubling the annual placements of Singaporeans in their 40s and 50s to around 5,500 by 2025. These efforts include Professional Conversion Programmes, Place-and-Train programmes for Rank-and-File workers, and career transition programmes delivered by CET Centres. MOE and SSG will also work with CET Centres, including the IHLs, to strengthen their capabilities in facilitating job placement of mid-career individuals.
12. In addition to the top-up to the SkillsFuture Credit account for all eligible Singapore Citizens, the Government will provide a further SkillsFuture Credit top-up of $500 for Singapore Citizens aged 40 to 60 as at 31 December 2020. This additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) can be used for career transition programmes at the CET Centres. There are around 200 such programmes currently. Eligible Singapore Citizens will receive this additional top-up on 1 October 2020, together with the one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up. Similar to the SkillsFuture Credit top up, this additional top-up will expire on 31 December 2025.
13. More details on the Next Bound of SkillsFuture measures and the Skills Future Mid-Career Support Package can be found at www.skillsfuture.sg/nextbound.