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Skills Framework for Design to Nurture Design-Empowered Workforce to Meet Demands of Future Economy

In-demand career opportunities spanning design, business, technology and innovation

The Skills Framework for Design was launched by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing this morning, at the inaugural Design Conversations 2019. The industry dialogue will be an annual gathering of stakeholders from design and non-design industries to discuss strategies and opportunities for Singapore’s design sector.

Jointly developed by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg), SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, the Skills Framework for Design is an integral part of the Industry Transformation Map for Professional Services. This national resource contains key sector information, career pathways, job roles, existing and emerging skills, as well as relevant training programmes required for the job roles. It promotes skills mastery and lifelong learning to support the creation of a design-empowered workforce for an innovation-driven economy.

The Skills Framework for Design covers 25 job roles across four tracks – design, business, innovation and technology. The Skills Framework includes 18 generic as well as 48 technical skills and competencies, such as business model innovation, user experience design and design thinking practice. This information is relevant for designers who want to deepen and broaden their skillsets, and non-designers who wish to be equipped with design-related skills to lead innovation at the workplace.

Minister Chan noted the role of a design-empowered workforce in driving innovation in Singapore: “To stay resilient against changing economic demands, Singapore needs a skilled workforce to unlock new opportunities. The Skills Framework for Design is an important collaboration between the Government and industry to help companies stay ahead, leveraging design as a strategic asset for innovation. Designers and professionals from other sectors can now tap the Skills Framework to chart rewarding careers. This will help us grow a design-empowered workforce and build a robust, innovation-driven economy.”

The Skills Framework for Design offers a common skills language for individuals, employers and training providers. It enables individuals to assess their career interests, identify relevant training programmes and prepare for desired job roles. Employers can better identify relevant skills and invest in employee training to maintain a strong talent pool. Training providers can gather insights about sector trends and emerging skills in demand, enabling them to design programmes that address industry needs.

The Skills Framework for Design is part of the Dsg’s broader Design Industry Manpower Plan to prepare and nurture a design-empowered workforce of the future that can apply design-led approaches to solve complex issues, across sectors.

The Design Industry Manpower Plan contains strategies that cut across the learning continuum – from General Education and Pre-Employment Training to Continuing Education and Training. It aims to help designers develop transdisciplinary skillsets and build a workforce with design sensibilities. Among the Plan’s other components are the recommendations by the Design Education Review Committee (DERC) introduced in early July 2019. More information on the Design Industry Manpower Plan and the DERC recommendations can be found in Annex A and Annex B respectively.

For a start, seven organisations have committed to adopting the Skills Framework for Design. They include global companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, a public service agency, a corporate training provider as well as an Institute of Higher Learning. These early adopters are PALO IT, Foolproof, Aleph, STUCK, Dsg, METHODOLOGY and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. More information on the Skills Framework for Design and early adopters can be found in Annex C.

The Skills Framework for Design will enable Singapore’s workforce to develop the relevant skills and competencies for their desired design-related job roles to meet the evolving demands of the future economy.