They say a family that eats together stays together.
But for the Lims, lifelong learning is what keeps them together.
61 years old Mr James Lim recently graduated with a diploma (conversion) in digital media design from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He runs a training and consulting firm and took on part-time studies with classes every Saturday.
His son, Andrew also recently graduated a week apart from Mr Lim, with a diploma in mass communications.
Apparently, the Lims believe strongly in the idea of lifelong learning.
Mr Lim’s 51 year old wife, Lilian is currently a pre-school educator after she took up a short course in 2015. She was previously a housewife for nearly 20 years.
Perhaps the Lims are the model family when it comes to lifelong learning.
These days lifelong learning has become more than just a buzzword; it is a National Movement.
As the elder Mr Lim puts it, “every facade of our life is in constant flux. To maintain a decent livelihood, one must stay relevant by unlearning our old skills and relearning new skills.”
Indeed, everything today is in a state of constant change, especially so in this age of disruption. Our current skills become obsolete within a matter of years, faster than we know it, and the jobs that we once worked in get replaced by technology.
Based on a recent job placement and trend survey, 72% of workers surveyed mentioned that their biggest concern was that their skills become obsolete, as compared to being retrenched (28%).
The only way to prevent this skills obsolescence – if it is preventable at all, because some skills will really not be needed in the future – is to deepen one’s skills, or learn a new skill.
But here’s the caveat, not all skills are relevant for tomorrow’s economy either.
Technological developments have altered the nature of our economy and the jobs that are created out of the changes.
This means that a new set of skills and proficiencies are required to match the new jobs created.
The NTUC launched late last year a new unit to identify future jobs and training for workers. This will help to bridge the mismatch of skills and jobs of the future.