Private Continuing Education and Training Centres' contribution to SkillsFuture initiative

Published Date: 11 July 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Desmond Choo, Tampines GRC

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) how are private Continuing Education and Training (CET) centres contributing to SkillsFuture initiatives; and (b) whether there are plans to expand Earn and Learn Programmes to private CET centres beyond polytechnics and institutes of technical education.

Response

1. MOE and MOM are in the process of restructuring the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) into SkillsFuture Singapore, which will come under MOE.

2. There is significance in this change with regard to our understanding of SkillsFuture, and it is this: the work done by WDA on Continuing Education and Training, and before that, the Skills Redevelopment Programme, which provided the foundation for SkillsFuture today.

3. It was WDA which set up the CET Centres, funded and supported them, made them publicly accessible, so that workers are empowered to sign up for training and benefit from Government subsidy directly. The philosophy that each of us are responsible and are empowered to take charge of our lifelong learning, continues to underpin SkillsFuture. Today, the funding and support for CET Centres remains substantial.

4. CET Centres must therefore continue to be an integral part of SkillsFuture. We must ensure they remain publicly accessible, deliver courses that are relevant to industries, and offer progression pathways.

5. From a policy perspective, CET Centres can deliver the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes, or ELPs, so long as they have the capability and willingness to do so, and the industry recognises and supports the programmes. Centres such as SEED and Lithan Academy already offer work-study training programmes that predate and are broadly similar to the ELPs in terms of funding, delivery, structure and industry acceptance. They are designed to help mid-career individuals and include features tailored to facilitating career switch. I will be happy to align the branding of these programmes with the ELPs.

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