New digitalisation plan for SMEs in training and adult education sector

New digitalisation plan for SMEs in training and adult education sector

Budget 2018 file - skillsfuture 3
A person accesses the SkillsFuture website. (Photo: Christy Yip)

SINGAPORE: A new industry digitalisation plan to guide small and medium enterprises was among initiatives announced on Thursday (Aug 13) as part of efforts to boost the transformation of Singapore’s training and adult education sector.

The initiatives were launched at the biennial Adult Learning Symposium 2020 as part of a multi-agency effort between SkillsFuture Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL).

The conference is being held online for the first time this year. 

Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang detailed the Government’s “strategic commitment” to support the sector’s ecosystem in a speech broadcast on Facebook during the opening ceremony.

The new training and adult education industry digitalisation plan “is a guide for small and medium enterprises in the sector to assess their digital readiness and identify digital solutions to adopt at each stage of their growth”, the agencies said.

The plan aims to drive nationwide digital transformation in the industry.

“In May 2020, SkillsFuture Singapore and IMDA pre-approved a list of Learning Management System solutions to help training providers deliver online education content for their learners,” they said.

“The training and adult education industry digitalisation plan brings this further by providing a more comprehensive and systematic guide on other digital solutions and employee training that SMEs can adopt to thrive in the digital economy.”

SMES IN THE SECTOR FACE GREATER URGENCY TO TRANSFORM: IMDA CEO

IMDA CEO Lew Chuen Hong said SMEs in the sector now face a “greater urgency to transform” in order to delivery timely training with safe distancing measures in place.

“The training and adult education industry digitalisation plan guides SMEs in using solutions like digital learning platforms to achieve this, enabling them not just to continue operations despite COVID-19, but also grow to capture new markets with online education, both in Singapore and overseas,” he said.

The industry digitalisation plan will also “advance Singapore’s vision to realise a high-quality and responsive training and adult education sector that supports overall industry transformation and enables the workforce to stay relevant and competitive”, the agencies added.

IAL’s innovation arm iN.LAB will continue being the anchor facility as the agency takes an “integral role” in the development and levelling of training providers’ skills and capabilities as the sector goes digital.

“Enhancing the quality of the training and education ecosystem is valuable to the immediate priority of Singapore’s economic recovery, and the longer term competitiveness of our workforce,” said IAL executive director Professor Lee Wing On.

Additionally, a new initiative to guide training providers to transform their programmes for effective online learning will be launched in September.

InnovDEV will pair training providers with experienced digital curriculum developers, who will help the in-house curriculum team digitalise learning contents and delivery.

A grant of up to S$5,000 will also be given out, with the initiative expected to benefit 200 training providers over three years.

In addition to this, SkillsFuture Singapore will set up the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning before the end of the year, in cooperation with IAL.

NACE@IAL will “leverage on IAL’s strong network of adult educators to promote workplace learning and lend its expertise in helping companies to integrate workplace learning practices to build business resilience for the future”, the agencies said.

SkillsFuture Singapore has also formulated 16 new Critical Core Skills competencies to serve as “a guide for soft skillsets valued by employers across different industries, and will complement the technical skills that employees need to be trained in”.

The agency is collaborating with IAL to define personas based on these skills for different occupational clusters to enable them to identify innovative approaches for the sector and to improve learners’ capacity to acquire and master CCS competencies.

The Adult Learning Symposium takes place until Friday, and is organised by IAL in partnership with SkillsFuture Singapore as part of SkillsFuture Month 2020, in support of SGUnited Jobs and Skills.

Source: CNA/ga

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