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Ang Thiam Guan (T.G.), Managing Director for Cisco in Singapore and Brunei, shares his opinions on the recent announcements made during Singapore's annual Budget statement on Monday (23 February 2015).
On investing in skills of the future though industry collaboration:
In order for Singapore to retain its competitiveness on the global stage, it is critical for us to augment our innovativeness and value-creation initiatives with a future-ready workforce. In the coming years, our nation will have an immense need for skilled talents who are able to employ technologies that enable, analyse and protect connectivity as we strive to become the world's Smart Nation.
Collaboration between industries will be a key element that will help Singapore equip its labour force with industry-relevant skills that are critical for our economy's progression in the next decade. This will equip our current generation of students with the vital skills needed to succeed in Singapore's Smart Nation future.
On cultivating lifelong learning with future school and the future of workplace:
Besides industry collaboration, a 'lifelong learning' attitude is also critical for our workforce and for Singapore's economy. The financial incentives that the SkillsFuture initiative provides will play a significant role in encouraging employees to upgrade themselves through taking new courses. However, it is equally important for employees to have a Future School to deliver the curriculum. The need for physical classrooms is no longer necessary as on-demand, cloud-based learning will create an environment where the content is sufficiently varied in scope and content, and easily accessible anytime, anywhere. Another advantage is that learning is self-directed, and can be done at a comfortable, personal pace, making this mode of education especially attractive for the younger generation.
Coupled with mobility and collaborative technologies that will redefine the Future of Workplace and enable people to do their jobs anywhere on any devices, employees will have greater flexibility and control over their learning journey while increasing their productivity at work. These technologies will empower employees to better balance their education, work and family commitments, allowing them to achieve an ideal work-life balance. This will not only encourage employees to embark on their learning journeys more readily, but also allowing companies to retain and recruit the right talents."
On helping SMEs create new value and internationalise:
Promoting innovation within Singapore's business community continues to be one of the Budget's priorities this year. SMEs, which make up 99 percent of businesses and 70 percent of the workforce in Singapore, can look forward to benefits, such as enhanced support and easing of Capability Development Grants applications, to help them devise and implement new initiatives for innovation. As Singapore works towards becoming the world's first Smart Nation, our country will continue to develop its infrastructure and drive the adoption of new technologies, such as the
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