VIDEO: Innovating skills training and continuing education for the future of a working society

By Sol Gonzalez

Evolving industry needs require continuous, inclusive and adaptive skills training for employees and job seekers across sectors and ages, says NTUC’s Learning Hub’s Chief Core Skills Officer Mr. Amos Tan.

NTUC Learning Hub’s Chief Core Skills Officer, Mr. Amos Tan, highlights the importance of developing digital skills across different sectors to keep pace with evolving industry demands. Image: GovInsider.

66 per cent of employers say they would not hire someone who lacks artificial intelligence (AI) skills.

This is according to a recent study by Microsoft and LinkedIn on how work recruitment trends are evolving with the rise of generative AI tools and digital technologies. 

“Technological advancement (renders) a constant need for upskilling and reskilling the workforce,” says NTUC Learning Hub’s Chief Core Skills Officer, Mr. Amos Tan, in an interview with GovInsider at the Festival of Innovation 2024. 

His team designs and offers skills training programs by collaborating with industry partners, government agencies and the private sector to keep pace with evolving job requirements across industries. 

Enhancing skills training and employability to meet the evolving industry demands while ensuring inclusivity and lifelong learning is key to fostering a thriving workforce, Tan shares.

The path to continuing education and skills-building  

Accessibility to skills training programs is essential to meet the diverse demographics and industry demands in Singapore, says Tan.

He shares that the Learning Hub customises training solutions, provides affordable courses, and offers flexible learning formats to expand access and reach of its programmes.

Their skills-building programmes  aim to meet the needs of various demographics and sectors across different levels. They also tweak their courses in line with industry trends and feedback to ensure the training remains relevant.

Hybrid learning modes also offer more flexibility and accessibility for different learners, shares Tan. Their courses combine classroom-based learning and online learning so that participants can choose what best fits their needs.

For example, the Learning Experience Platform is an app that offers “bite-size” skill-building content available for learners at any time, Tan adds.

The Learning Hub is also implementing core mental and physical skills along the tech-based programs to ensure that trainees know how to respond to challenges in the workplace.

When a company is rapidly integrating AI into its operations, employees must quickly learn new skills while knowing how to communicate changes and expectations, which requires teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

This strategy aims to balance the conventional ways of teaching skills with the evolving needs of industries and growth of technology, says Tan.

The digital future of skills training 

For skills training and continuing education to remain future proof, there must be a shift toward “developing digital skills across all sectors,” Tan says.

The growth of technology is increasing the skills gap and displacing workers who cannot keep up. This affects older workers at a higher rate, as industries may opt for younger talents that can quickly adapt to these demands.

The Learning Hub is emphasising digital literacy across all its programs to support upskilling and reskilling for displaced workers, says Tan.

For instance, his team established the Tech Talent Academy, which offers upskilling and reskilling in technology to enhance digital literacy.

The platform also connects employers and individuals to enable career transition and job placement, says Tan. He adds that collaboration with partners in the tech sector helps them improve the curriculum as well.

The EU identifies digital skills as a key requirement for workers, and reports find that many employees are lacking these skills needed for their roles.

Staying on top of the game 

The digital transformation does not stop at the professional skills training level, notes Tan.

He envisions innovating continuing education by implementing AI and virtual reality to supplement classroom-based learning with more personalised and immersive learning experiences.

These efforts aim to ensure that “training and learning will not go to waste”, shares Tan.

“All credentials should and can be stackable” for lifelong learning and enhancing employability in the future, he adds.

To find out more about Tan's insights on how digital skills can drive digital transformation in the workforce, you can watch the panel he is a part of:

Talent Tango Panel: Digital Skills to Promote Digital Transformation Internally