Hot on the heels of the launch of the CET2020 Masterplan, ASPIRE and SkillsFuture by the Government in recent months, the Labour Movement has reintroduced the Skillsave Account, an individual training account today for every Singaporean worker to help them be future ready.
The idea was mooted by NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay at a visit to the NTUC LearningHub.
The NTUC piloted a similar training initiative in 2004 with four of NTUC’s social enterprises which saw about 2000 workers benefit.
The individual learning account will help workers take personal responsibility for their own training needs and upgrading, as well as career planning. This will help plug the current gaps for some workers who do not have access to the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme which is meant to encourage older low-wage workers to upgrade their skills through training so that they can improve their employability.
Only those who are above 35 years old and earn a monthly income of not more than $1,900 qualify for the WTS Scheme.
According to Mr Tay, the Skillsave account which the NTUC is pushing for should be “accessible, portable and lifelong”, meaning that the account follows the workers as they move across jobs and careers..
He adds that it is timely to have such an account as Singapore’s economy goes through restructuring. “On an individual perspective… these Skillsave accounts are useful in that more Singaporean workers can benefit. It is to encourage this spirit of lifelong learning,” said Mr Tay.
With the individual accounts, Mr Tay said that Singaporean workers can also re-skill themselves and pick up a second skill in the area of their passion and to enhance their employability.