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SkillsFuture Council Begins Work in Singapore

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Thu Nov 06 2014

SkillsFuture Council Begins Work in Singapore
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The SkillsFuture Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam, held its first meeting November 5, 2014. The council will develop an integrated system of education, training, and career progression for all Singaporeans, promote industry support for individuals to advance based on skills, and foster a culture of lifelong learning. The formation of the Council was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s National Day Rally. 

DPM Tharman said, “Our future must be about mastery of skills, in every job, and enabling every Singaporean to develop themselves to the fullest. We are going to put full effort into this, and it involves everyone - Government, employers, unions and all of us as individuals.” 

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At its first meeting, the Council decided on four thrusts to drive this national effort: 

1. Help individuals to make well-informed choices in education, training, and careers 

The council will guide the development of a full system of guidance to help individuals make choices in education, training, and their careers, starting from educational counselling in schools and extending throughout a person’s working life. It will foster collaboration between the Government, industry, and institutions, to provide individuals with exposure to a wide range of occupations and industries from young, and ongoing information on the changing needs of the labor market. 

2. Develop an integrated, high-quality system of education and training that responds to constantly evolving industry needs 

The council will review education and training to ensure that a sound and broad-based education for the young is complemented with a full menu of the continuous learning options, including opportunities to develop new specializations. A panel of leaders from educational and training institutions will be appointed to support the council in this effort. 

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3. Promote employer recognition and career development based on skills and mastery 

The council will work with employers to design and implement a framework to enable individuals to advance by climbing skill ladders. Panels led by employers, and supported by unions and government agencies, will be appointed in each sector to develop this framework. 

4. Foster a culture that supports and celebrates lifelong learning 

This will involve a long-term effort to respect every job for its skills, and value the achievements of individuals who attain mastery in their own fields. It will also promote the habit of learning throughout life, for work as well as for interest. The SkillsFuture Council will be supported by the community-led Lifelong Learning Council , which will promote practical ways to advance this culture.

Members of the high-level SkillsFuture Council include representatives from the government, industry, unions and employers, and educational and training institutions. The members of the inaugural term of the council have been appointed for two years.

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