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MATURE WORKERS

HIGHER COURSE SUBSIDY

To recognise the higher opportunity risks faced by mid-career Singaporeans who wish to upgrade, those above 40 will get at least 90-per cent course subsidy for courses by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and those funded by Ministry of Education.

For instance, an Nanyang Technological University's Bachelor of Engineering degree that usually costs $17,700 will cost only $7,080 after the enhanced subsidy.

A Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications diploma in digital design that usually costs $6,900 will cost only $2,300.

SKILLSFUTURE MENTORS

Made up of retirees with deep skills and experience and mid-career professionals with relevant experience, this group will help SMEs to deepen the skills of their workforce.

These mentors will form a shared pool of expertise that small- and medium-sized enterprises can tap on.


'We can't just stop learning' 

She went for her first course when she was 40, more than 20 years after she left Chung Hwa Girls' School in 1986.

Madam See Siew Khim, 47, is Chinese-educated and at times struggled with the language barrier.

The N-level holder was working as a polisher at IECO (Aerospace) for 10 years before she was sent to her first course in 2008 to learn how to clean engine parts.

The course was part of a Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) higher certificate in aerospace (engine repair and overhaul).

Madam See, who has two daughters aged 14 and 18, said in Mandarin: "I was a bit hesitant at first because of my age. But times are changing, we can't just stop learning and must constantly try to improve ourselves."

Madam See said she studied with her daughters, who helped her with English words that she was not familiar with.

Her perseverance has paid off.

Her company sent her for more courses and she is now a Master Technician, a title awarded to skilled technicians who are experts, trainers or mentors in their field.

In her previous role as a polisher, her work would involve cleaning and checking engine parts.

After her courses, which included a WSQ Workplace Trainer Programme, she is now able to train junior technicians.

LIFELONG PROCESS

And learning has become a lifelong process for Madam See.

While she declined to reveal her salary, she said that she received an increment allowance.

She was pleased to hear about the enhanced subsidies given to mid-career Singaporeans and will consider pursuing a diploma in the aerospace field.

"I'm not worried about studying with students who are much younger than me because I'm already used to it."