“We want to empower every citizen to be able to make a decision about how they want to invest in themselves and the kind of career they want,” says Dr. Soon Joo Gog, Chief Futurist at SkillsFuture SG in Singapore’s Ministry of Education. That’s obviously an ambitious goal, but this small city-state has a reputation for pioneering new approaches to building a skills ecosystem. To achieve it, the government gives every citizen 25 years of age and older $1,000 in credits toward education and skills training. That jumps to $1,500 in credits once you reach 40. The credits belong to the person, not an employer, making them portable throughout their life. She describes SkillsFuture, where she is also Chief Skills Officer and Chief Research Officer, as a national movement that later developed into a government agency offering job skills insights for individuals, businesses, education and training partners, and policymakers. One of her most important strategies is engaging with companies considered innovative to find out how their use of technology changes worker skills over time so SkillsFuture SG can work with educators to align training programs with future labor needs. Check out this fascinating conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan and one of the world’s leading workforce innovators to learn about the “trinity of partners” essential to her work, and the role smart dustbins are playing in Singapore’s high-tech, high-skill economy.
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