Singapore will support those able and willing to upskill: Chan
Minister for Trade and Industry says Government will always help Singaporean workers to take on new jobs
Singaporeans will have opportunities to improve their lives at every stage of their careers, no matter how old they are, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said yesterday, pledging that the Government would always help Singaporean workers.
"We will never be done upskilling our people. This is especially so for workers who have left school many years ago and did not benefit from the more recent improvements in our education and training system," he said.
"So long as you are able and willing, we will support you. Every Singaporean, regardless of background, can have the chance to take on the new jobs being created."
In the fourth of six national broadcasts on Singapore's post-coronavirus future, Mr Chan added: "In the 1980s, we uplifted a generation through computerisation and automation. In the 2020s, we will transform another generation through digitalisation and data."
Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many to embrace digitalisation, he said the Government will ensure that Singaporeans of all ages can go digital and thrive.
This effort includes having a thousand-strong digital ambassador corps to help companies apply digitalisation and help senior citizens use technology.
He cited examples of businesses and government agencies already going digital.
He said the Singapore Tourism Board is helping hospitality companies and event organisers overcome the collapse in travel demand by using digital tools.
He pointed to event organiser Web In Travel, which is holding a virtual travel summit later this month.
Mr Chan stressed that local business leaders need to have a global outlook.
"Our business leaders and workers will be key to these efforts. We must have the aptitude and attitude to serve global markets," he said. "We cannot be content with doing well just within Singapore."
To that end, he said more will be done to help businesses access new markets.
Overseas exposure will be intensified through initiatives like the Global Ready Talent programme, so that Singaporeans can gain fresh perspectives and networks.
The programme, launched last year, provides support for young people keen to work abroad and for companies to train their staff through stints overseas.
Mr Chan also noted that earlier this year, the Ministry of Education announced a "70-70 target" for more local students from institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to have some form of overseas exposure.
The aim is for 70 per cent of graduates from universities, polytechnics and the Institutes of Technical Education to get some international experience, whether through an internship, exchange programme, or service learning or study trip.
This is up from half of all IHL students currently.