SINGAPORE: Skills acquired during National Service (NS) will receive formal accreditation for both full-time and operationally ready NSmen to tap on in their future careers, Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung announced in Parliament on Friday (Mar 3).
“From this year, SkillsFuture Singapore will accredit enlistees with skills, such as teamwork, that are honed during Basic Military Training (BMT),” he said. “In fact, the teamwork we learn in NS is far better than many commercial workshops.”
“Throughout their full-time NS, they could also be accredited with other competencies such as leadership, technical or specialist skills.”
These skills will be recognised by the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) - a national credentialing system for employees - and reflected in an enhanced Certificate of Service given to full-time NSmen (NSFs) on their Operationally Ready Date (ORD).
“By 2018, the certificate will be made more comprehensive to include additional achievements such as awards, commendations and milestones,” said Mr Ong.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), there are currently 23 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) courses accredited. More than 96 per cent of NSFs who enlist from January 2017 onwards will receive WSQ accreditation annually, with commanders receiving additional recognition for their leadership roles.
The figure excludes BMT syllabuses for commandos and naval divers - which are in the process of being accredited - along with NSFs who do not complete BMT.
“While accrediting skills learnt in NS is a useful enhancement of the NS experience, this is neither the main objective nor the key takeaway of NS,” Mr Ong stated.
“NS fulfils the obligation and accords the honour of contributing to the defence of our country. The lasting benefits are the development of character and resilience, and the camaraderie and friendships forged with fellow NSmen.”
“Ultimately, the fact that someone has completed NS well demonstrates his commitment and dedication,” he concluded. “Especially in a challenging unit that stretches his abilities, this should speak for itself, and be valued and recognised by society, including employers.”