The Singapore Government set up the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) in September 2003, in the wake of the 2000 economic crisis to help the workforce cope through training and skills upgrading. It was given a clear mission to lead, drive and champion workforce development, enhancing the employability and competitiveness of Singapore's workforce. To facilitate adult learning in Singapore, WDA first launched programmes to train and place workers in sectors such as cleaning, wafer fabrication and textiles. In the following years, it significantly expanded the CET infrastructure which now includes a network of five career centres; more than 40 CET Centres offering quality training and career services; a national Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework, covering close to 30 industries and the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), which aims to enhance the capabilities and professionalism of adult educators so as to broaden and deepen their expertise.
As at 2013, there are 33 Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) frameworks introduced by WDA. In addition, there are now more than 1,000 training programmes available island-wide within the WDA network of CET centres. For each framework, an Industry Skills and Training Council drives the development and validation of skills standards, assessment strategies and training curriculum for the industry. Each council is represented by key industry partners, including employers, industry associations, training organisations and unions. Find out more about WDA’s frameworks and programmes HERE.
Besides WDA programmes, working professionals wishing to further their studies while balancing a career may also want to explore these options:
Singapore Institute of Management University (UniSIM) is the only university in Singapore dedicated to working adults, allowing them to pursue lifelong learning and higher education while balancing career, family and social responsibilities. It adopts a flexible and practice-focused learning approach and offers more than 50 academic programmes in various disciplines. Major disciplines offered include Languages, Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Business, IT, Culinary Arts and Counselling.
PSB Academy is one of the largest education and training providers in Singapore with over 40 years of experience in conducting academic programmes and corporate training. Supported by over 300 lecturers and associates, the Academy has students from more than 36 countries that benefit from a world-class education in Singapore each year. It offers a host of full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the areas of Business, Accounting, Engineering, Life Sciences and the English Language.
Kaplan Higher Education Institute (KHEI) offers part-time programmes that help working professionals balance part-time studies with personal or work commitments. With a typical term of a three month period covering two modules of study, KHEI's part-time programmes are flexible and can fit into busy schedules of executives and managers. Choose from over 100 quality part-time programmes in the areas of Business, Accounting, Communication & Media, Engineering, Hospitality, Humanities, IT, Law, Nursing and Science, offered by local and international universities.
Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is the oldest not-for-profit professional lifelong learning institute in Singapore. MDIS provides well-accredited courses, seminars and management services and opportunities for individuals to develop professionally through academic programmes in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion Design, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Mass Communications, Psychology and Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management. These courses are offered in collaboration with highly acclaimed universities in Australia, France, the UK and USA.
You can also enhance your career and potential through the scholarships offered in various industries. These scholarships are intended to encourage working adults and those switching mid-career to become professionally qualified. These include the following: