Two new SkillsFuture awards announced

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says the awards are a way to recognise companies that seek to develop their employees’ skills

Two new SkillsFuture awards announced
Speaking at the recently opened Lifelong Learning Festival 2016, Education Minister for Higher Education and Skills Ong Ye Kung announced the launch of the SkillsFuture Employer Awards and the SkillsFuture Fellowships.

Ong said that both initiatives will be available for application from mid-December and is aimed recognising “individuals who have developed skills mastery and employers who are exemplary in investing in their employees’ skills development respectively”.

“Employers are key in encouraging workplace learning and skills development,” said SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) in a statement.

And the SkillsFuture Employer Awards is meant to recognise an organisation’s support for the SkillsFuture effort “through the development of structured skills-based career pathways for their employees,” they said.

Ten SkillsFuture Employer Awards will be handed out in 2017 with plans to increase to 30 awards annually. 

They pointed out, however, that the awards are non-monetary in nature.

On the other hand, the SkillsFuture Fellowships is monetary in nature, with $10,000 earmarked for winning individuals “to defray out-of-pocket expenses associated with education and training across a wide range of skills upgrading options”.

The fellowship is targeted at skilled workers who also wish to contribute to the development of others.

“An engineer can learn to be a master trainer so that knowledge and skills … can be better captured and transmitted throughout the organisation,” said Ong, as an example to The Straits Times.

Thirty awards will be given out in 2017 to start with but the ultimate aim is to increase it to 100 annually over time, said Ong.

“In light of the current employment outlook, it is even more critical for individuals to upskill and for employers to invest in their employees’ training and skills development to stay relevant,” said Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of SSG.

“With the SkillsFuture Fellowships and Employer Awards, we want to recognise exemplary individuals and employers who embody the spirit of lifelong learning and hold them up as examples to encourage more individuals and employers to see the value in skills mastery.”

Related stories:

More focus on soft skills training needed

WDA launches first skills framework under SkillsFuture initiative 

New CEO for SkillsFuture Singapore announced 

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