Push For Tech Reskilling Opens Up New Prospects For Workers in Singapore
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 18 June 2021 -When the pandemic hit, 57-year old Muhamed Ibrahim Mohd Salleh found himself unemployed and not being able secure a job. Having only offline sales experience and zero background in tech, he found himself facing unfamiliar changes. He realised that the 'new norm' would be more tech-driven, prompting him to take a leap of faith to enrol himself in the SG United Skills Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Specialist Programme by NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB).
Despite the steep learning curve, he pressed on and four months into the nine-month programme, he decided to set up his own barber shop with his son. Confident of his newly acquired tech skills and knowledge, Ibrahim is now promoting his shop through social media marketing and managing online appointment bookings.
The course is just one out of many programmes under NTUC LHUB's training offerings in Infocomm Technology (ICT). The leading training provider saw a 58% increase in training places for ICT courses from 2019 to 2020. Workers are now upskilling to ride the wave of digitalisation, which offers new jobs and business opportunities. As the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital transformation across industries, businesses are looking for workers to fill new tech roles.
The top courses include those in Agile Skills, Data Analytics and User Experience. NTUC LHUB observes that many of its trainees are looking to either advance in their careers or make a career switch in the tech space.
NTUC LHUB's Head of ICT Isa Nasser says, "COVID-19 has changed business needs and there is now a pressing demand for Singapore to build a strong local talent pool in tech. The time to upskill in tech is now, even for those who may have little to no knowledge in tech. Keen job seekers or even entrepreneurs can start small, through bite-sized learning offered through platforms such as our LHUB GO Infinity online learning platform. Learners can search for any tech topics they may be interested in and acquire the basics through introductory videos as short as 10 minutes."
"Learning can be done anytime, anywhere and at their own pace. They can then delve deeper, sharpen their skills and level up in areas where they want to specialise in. And after learning, they can join a community of practice to keep up to date with the ever-evolving tech landscape. This will ensure that learners remain employable," Isa adds.
Upskilling to progress into new roles
As a former wealth manager in the finance sector, NTUC LHUB trainee Kun Da experienced a downturn in sales volume when the pandemic hit. The 25-year-old Singaporean knew that he needed to upskill to make a career switch. Taking more than 20 courses at NTUC LHUB in 2020, he upskilled in areas such as Data Analytics Fundamentals using Microsoft Excel, Blockchain for Capital Markets, and Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics. Kun Da's efforts paid off as he managed to secure a new job as an associate analyst at an international firm, where he currently works on investment research and strategic consulting for asset management across Asian markets.
Another trainee, Lim See Teo, returned from Hong Kong after stepping down from his job in the semi-conductor industry two years ago. He heard from his friends that opportunities abound in the Information Technology sector which motivated him to take up the Digital Workplace and Microsoft Azure Fundamental courses. The 63-year-old is now a Digital Sales Coordinator in a start-up company.
Despite not coming from a tech background or having prior experience, these are examples of workers who have pivoted by empowering themselves with new skills to enter the industry. Challenges due to a lack of experience, expertise or age have been overcome in the quest for better opportunities.
"I haven't studied in ages, so it was a challenge for me to go back into that, and especially sitting in a virtual class now, instead of a physical classroom like how we all did in the past. But the engaging trainers have made it easier for me to adapt to this new mode of learning," says Ibrahim.
To find out more about tech courses offered by NTUC LHUB, visit www.ntuclearninghub.com/it-academy or www.ntuclearninghub.com/lhub-go.
 The total number of training places for ICT courses from January 2020 to December 2020, increased by 58% as compared to January 2019 to December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
About NTUC LearningHub
NTUC LearningHub is the leading Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore which aims to transform the lifelong employability of working people. Since our corporatisation in 2004, we have been working with employers and individual learners to provide learning solutions in areas such as Cloud, Infocomm Technology, Healthcare, Employability & Literacy, Business Excellence, Workplace Safety & Health, Security, Human Resources and Foreign Worker Training.
To date, NTUC LearningHub has helped over 25,000 organisations and achieved over 2.6 million training places across more than 500 courses with a pool of over 600 certified trainers. As a Total Learning Solutions provider to organisations, we also forge partnerships and offer a wide range of relevant end-to-end training solutions and work constantly to improve our training quality and delivery. In 2020, we have accelerated our foray into online learning with our Virtual Live Classes and, through working with best-in-class partners such as IBM, DuPont Sustainable Solutions and GO1, asynchronous online courses.
For more information, visit www.ntuclearninghub.com.