In the face of growing global competition and shifting demands of the economy, it is imperative for both the modern employer and employee to stay relevant and efficient, by continuously learning, adapting, and upgrading in order to be future-ready. Helping to do just that are SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), two statutory boards under the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) respectively.
SSG promotes a culture of lifelong learning through the SkillsFuture movement, allowing students and professionals access to industry-ready training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy. Meanwhile, WSG seeks to enable Singaporeans to meet their career aspirations and take on quality jobs at different stages of life, and help enterprises be competitive and manpower-lean.
SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholar
Manager, Strategic & Resource Planning Division
Bachelor of Social Science (Political Science) – National University of Singapore
SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholars Shirlyne Lam, 24, and Debbie Tan, 23, share the opportunities the scholarship has presented them, and how their work today helps SSG and WSG achieve their outcomes.
What made you apply for the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship?
Debbie: I chanced upon the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship during my third year of university. I was keen on joining the Public Service and was looking out for career opportunities in government agencies. SSG and WSG were relatively new statutory boards then, which I found exciting as I envisioned officers playing a greater role in building and shaping the organisations. More importantly, SSG and WSG’s missions resonated strongly with my desire to tackle pertinent social issues (such as education and employment), which are close to the hearts of many Singaporeans. The joint scholarship also promised work exposure to not one but two organisations, which was a rare opportunity.
Shirlyne: SSG and WSG’s missions resonated well with me as I am a strong believer of lifelong learning and self-improvement. To be part of an organisation that offers all Singaporeans the opportunity to upgrade and acquire skills allows me to realise my aspiration to serve and empower others.
How has the scholarship benefitted you?
Shirlyne: The scholarship unlocked many opportunities for me during my university studies. With the hostel allowance, I was able to stay in a residential college in University Town, where I experienced a dynamic and exciting student life, and was part of a close-knit community. In addition, I received full sponsorship for my overseas exchange to Zagreb, Croatia, where I had the opportunity to interact with different people from various background, walks of life, and cultures.
Debbie: The joint scholarship has provided me with abundant support in furthering my personal development. I have participated in various cross-divisional and cross-agency projects that challenged me to venture beyond my comfort zone. For example, I am part of a special project team looking at the future of WSG’s work. Through my daily tasks, I have learnt to work with officers from various divisions and agencies, who adopt different protocols and working styles. I look forward to furthering my growth as a public officer through cross-agency postings at SSG and other agencies, as well as the opportunity to pursue my postgraduate studies in the future.
SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholar
Manager, Strategic Planning Division
Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Management) – National University of Singapore
Debbie, how has SSG-WSG opened doors for your career and endeavours?
Debbie: Despite being a new officer, I have participated in meetings with our senior management. Through these discussions, I gained new insights on key issues pertaining to our workforce and how public policies are designed. I have also attended high-level inter-agency meetings, where I could hear and learn from political office holders and senior public officers. Overall, these opportunities have enhanced my knowledge of the public sector and inspired me to continue pursuing a meaningful career.
What are the most important qualities to possess in your line of work, Shirlyne?
Shirlyne: One essential quality will be the passion to serve. Challenges are inevitable in the workplace but having the passion to serve the organisation and community keeps us motivated to work hard to support the development of a future-ready workforce.
It is vital to be open and adaptable to changes in policy work. Since corporate planning requires us to stay abreast of new trends and global developments, we constantly find ourselves fine-tuning our strategies to adapt and ensure the relevance of our programmes.