TL;DR – How prepared are you?
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) expects Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) to come in at the upper half of the 2 to 3 per cent forecast range this year. MAS also expects Singapore’s economic growth to remain firm in 2018.
The better news is that the recent growth appear to be more even across most sectors. Up till the last quarter, growth was very uneven, with some sectors doing very well, while others floundering. This even growth in most sectors is likely to continue.
The economic growth brings with it signs of improvement in the local labour market. Overall labour demand is expected to improve, especially in the modern services and community, social & personal (CSP) services. More importantly, there are more vacancies for the professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).
That’s relatively good news for Singaporeans. That means that there are more opportunities for Singaporeans to get better jobs with better pay. We should hence equip ourselves with relevant skills. Recently, two new initiatives were launched to help Singaporeans to equip ourselves with the skills that will allow us to seize the opportunities from the stable economic growth.
1. MySkillsFuture Portal to know what skills to pick up
The first step in equipping ourselves with the relevant skills is to know what skills are relevant. SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) has launched a one-stop portal called MySkillsFuture. The portal has numerous features such as:
- A self-assessment tool that allow users to find out what their career interests and skills.
- A feature called Industry Insights, where users can find out more information about a specific industry such as whether it has a positive outlook.
- Integration with the National Jobs Bank, making it convenient for users to get all the various resources they need through one portal instead of having multiple accounts at different sites
- A feature called Training Exchange that allows users to search and compare courses to suit their needs.
These features of the portal will help Singaporeans to understand their interests, and strengths, as well as the bright spots in the economy. Singaporeans can then use the information and understanding to better decide what skills to develop and what courses to go for.
2. Institutes of Higher Learning to provide SkillsFuture Series
After deciding what skills to develop and what courses to go for, Singaporeans now have added avenues to get the training they need. In an initiative called SkillsFuture Series, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) take the lead in offering more than 400 bite-sized courses.
The courses will be in eight emerging and important areas that are central to Singapore’s future economy needs. These include cyber security, urban solutions and tech-enabled services. These courses will be heavily subsidised (up to 70%) by investments from the Ministry of Education (MOE). With those subsidies, most of the basic levels of the modular courses will cost less than S$500.
Individuals and businesses can then tap on their SkillsFuture Credit to pay for the courses. Furthermore, Singaporeans who qualify for enhanced subsides such as the Enhanced Training Support for SMES of SkillsFuture Mid-career enhanced subsidy will continue to get further subsidies of up to 90% at the basic course level.
So, are you prepared?
With these two initiatives, Singaporeans now have avenues to find out what skills to develop to be relevant not only for today’s economy, but also for tomorrow’s.
But are we prepared to seize these opportunities?