By FARIS MOKHTAR | 01 FEBRUARY, 2018

SINGAPORE – Unlike other Industry Transformation Maps (ITM) that have been rolled out, the roadmap for the training and adult education (TAE) sector does not have a primary focus on jobs creation, said SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) chief executive Ng Cher Pong.

Launching the TAE roadmap on Thursday (Feb 1), Mr Ng said it will look at deepening the skills of some 20,000 TAE providers. It will also support companies’ transformation and ensure Singaporeans upgrade their skills to remain competitive.

The TAE is one of two sectors to come under the Education ITM. The roadmap for the other sector, early childhood, will be announced at a later date.

“The primary focus is not about jobs because this industry serves as a critical supporting infrastructure for all the other industries, particularly as they embark on industry transformation for which reskilling and upskilling of the workforce is critical,” said Mr Ng.

As part of the TAE roadmap, a skills framework that looks at developing the career pathways and job roles of professionals in the sector will be introduced at the end of this year, said Mr Ng.

Currently, jobs within the sector include trainers and curriculum developers as well as business development and administrative roles.

Mr Ng noted that as firms undergo restructuring, TAE providers might not only have to provide training but may have to be consultants as well. This means “hand-holding” firms in acquiring the relevant skills and helping them shape their business strategies.

Amid the push to get workers to upgrade their skills, Mr Ng said there is still “some resistance” among employers, especially smaller firms as they lack the understanding on how SkillsFuture can benefit their workers and businesses.

To address this, SSG set up an enterprise engagement office last month, where it will work together with government agencies, such as the Workforce Singapore, and trade associations to reach out to more firms.

On Wednesday (Jan 31), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat had pointed out that the various ITMs are bound to have overlaps.

Asked how this will affect the offerings of SkillsFuture courses, Mr Ng said that the courses created are subject to demand. SSG will also takes its cue from the ITMs.

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