Channel NewsAsia

'Nation of Opportunity' will be built around new education, training initiatives

The Government has released details expanding on the “nation of opportunity” aspect of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s address in Parliament last Friday.

SINGAPORE: The Government today (May 19) released details expanding on the concept of a "Nation of Opportunity" first outlined by President Tony Tan Keng Yam in his address in Parliament last Friday.

In a statement issued today, the Government said that Singapore must remain a place where “every Singaporean can succeed whatever his starting point; where pathways upwards are open to all, at all stages of life”.

With globalisation bringing about keener competition, Singaporeans have to work harder, the Government said in its addenda statement. But it also noted that the nation is well-positioned to capitalise on Asia’s rise, with initiatives to build on the talent and education levels among Singaporeans, as well as to improve its economic infrastructure.

There will be a greater focus on quality and affordable pre-school education to ensure that every child has a strong start, according to the statement. To this end, the Ministry of Education will provide more support to children with financial difficulties, and continue to refine kindergarten curriculum resources. The focus at all levels will be on holistic education, with an increased emphasis on values, character and citizenship education, the Ministry said.

To ensure that Singaporeans remain competitive, the Ministry of Manpower will review the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Masterplan 2020 to make the system more responsive and relevant to the needs of firms and workers. 

The ministry will also implement the Fair Consideration Framework and the Jobs Bank this year to facilitate Singaporeans’ access to better jobs.

There will also be "enhanced job facilitation efforts for all displaced workers, including Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians", while access to training for small and medium enterprises and their staff will be improved.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry will invest more than S$300 million over the next three years to help SMEs expand locally and internationally. More PMET jobs will be created, and Singaporeans will be trained to take on specialist and leadership roles, the Government said in today's statement.

Emphasis was also placed on the need to "enhance the capabilities of our financial sector workforce and develop a strong core of Singaporean financial specialists and leaders".

In terms of hardware, Changi Airport will have its capacity increased by expanding infrastructure such as Project Jewel and Terminal 4, and developing a three-runway system and a fifth terminal. Pasir Panjang terminal will be expanded and Tuas Terminal developed, in order to attract and anchor ship owners and operators in Singapore.

The ultimate aim: To "transform the economy, raise productivity, invest in R&D and sharpen our competitive edge", the Government said.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna