It is my pleasure to join you at the Lifelong Learning Festival 2016. The Lifelong Learning Festival has been around for many years. I remember when I was a much younger civil servant; the Lifelong Learning Festival was really a festival. We were teaching all kinds of leisure and recreational skills and then somebody said that the Lifelong Learning Festival should really be about vocational skills, skills that one can use to earn a living and so the concept changed.
The 6th Adult Learning Symposium 2016 has been an enriching and fruitful journey. Now that we are at its close, I would like to thank all of you, both speakers and participants, for making this event such a resounding success.
I started the Adult Learning Symposium back in 2008 when I was the Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Workforce Development Agency. Therefore, now years later, I am happy to join you today for the Adult Learning Symposium 2016.
I am pleased to attend today’s Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) graduation ceremony for 605 students from the Institute of Technical Education, Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Singapore and Temasek Polytechnics. This is a significant milestone not only for these five Post-Secondary Education Institutes (PSEIs) and the graduands, but also for the Process WSQ framework. I will elaborate on this later.
What we see today reflects two key themes that typify our approach to providing for our people. Firstly, it is important to grow our economy well by developing dynamic sectors and bringing in good companies. Why? This creates good jobs for our people. Secondly, having created these opportunities, we need to train and develop our core of Singaporeans so that they can be ready for them.
Our economy and local workforce are going through major transition, from higher quantity growth to lower but better quality growth. Our aim is to create better jobs and careers to meet the higher aspirations of our people who are and will continue to be better educated and better skilled. The Infocomm Technology sector, ICT for short, is a good illustration. Technology is fast changing, and offers endless opportunities for us to exploit as a smart nation, and export as a leading ICT hub.