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Speech by Prof Tan Tai Yong at the SkillsFuture Festival X SUSS

  • Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower
  • Distinguished guests and colleagues
  • Ladies and gentlemen


  1. Good morning. We are delighted to welcome you to the SkillsFuture Festival 2023 by SUSS, centred around the theme "Digital at Work." Today, we come together not only to celebrate the spirit of lifelong learning but also to recognise the transformative power of education to meet the needs of the ever-evolving digital, tech, and economic landscape.

Digitalisation in the Workplace

  1. Digitalisation has changed how we do things at work and play. In today’s rapidly changing environment, the impact on job roles has been profound.
  1. Technological advancements and economic shifts demand that workers equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge to remain relevant in the job market.
  1. It is essential to embrace digitalisation positively, as it presents new opportunities and challenges for businesses in Singapore. We need to be agile and adaptable to succeed in the digital age.
  1. Since its launch in 2015, the SkillsFuture movement has gained good momentum and is progressing steadily. And it continues to be expanded to help support skills upgrading “at scale and at speed” for Singapore’s workforce.
  1. To reach out to diverse groups of learners, our Institutes of Higher Learning are also transforming to meet the needs of a resilient, digitally inclusive Singapore. Embracing learning for life will help Singapore stay ahead for the future.

SUSS’s role and commitment to Lifelong Learning

  1. At SUSS, the concept of lifelong learning has been ingrained since our inception, aligned with our 3 ‘H’ education philosophy of ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness of the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning. 
  1. We have long championed lifelong learning, offering part-time study courses that extend beyond the classroom to build habits and foster emotional connections among our students.
  1. Our goal is to provide multiple pathways of skills and knowledge, allowing each learner to reach their full potential.
  1. To achieve this, we closely monitor the ever-evolving demands of the market from businesses and employers, particularly in terms of reskilling and upskilling Singapore's workforce to support its economic transformation in the digital economy.
  1. I am pleased to announce the launch of SUSS’s SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme, or in short SCTP, supporting adult learners in acquiring industry-relevant skills to improve employability and pivot to new sectors or new job roles.  The SCTPs we are launching are specifically in Built Environment, Electronics, Finance, and Healthcare Sectors.
  1. They are available on a part-time basis. And SCTP participants will attend modular training courses, gain industry experience through work attachment or industry projects, and receive employment facilitation over the course of a period ranging between three and 12 months.

About SkillsFuture Festival x SUSS

  1. I am also delighted to announce that SUSS is launching the Digital Andragogy Blueprint in partnership with Microsoft. It is designed with the intent to provide educators with recommendations and strategies on leveraging digital tools to enhance adult instruction and learning. Given that adult learning and education is an integral part of lifelong learning, the development of this blueprint is indeed timely.
  1. I would like to express my acknowledgement to the Institute for Adult Learning for being a part of this from its inception. I would also like to show my appreciation to Microsoft for the valuable partnership. SUSS and Microsoft will also be working together on the next phase of the Digital Andragogy initiative.
  1. Our GOH for today, Minister of State Ms Gan Siow Huang will be sharing more about this blueprint, spearheaded by our SUSS Associate Professor Justina Tan and her team, to empower Singapore’s adult educators in today’s digital age, and in turn, elevate lifelong learning experiences for all adult learners. The blueprint will also be made available on Microsoft Learn; a free, online training platform available globally that provides frictionless, interactive learning for skills that prepare learners for the future.
  1. We have a lineup of interesting programme highlights which include:
  • A keynote address by Mr Richard Koh, CTO of Microsoft Singapore, who will be delving into the very relevant topic of what it takes to develop a culture of innovation and learning in the era of Generative AI and how this will shape the education landscape in years to come.
  • Listen to our panel discussion, moderated by SUSS Associate Professor Rita Padawangi from the Centre for University Core, on how young people today can embrace global competencies and digitalisation in a changing world, featuring panellists:
    • Mr David Chua, CEO of the National Youth Council,
    • Mr Russ Neu, Venture Partner of Impact Initiatives at Quest Ventures
    • SUSS Provost, Professor Robbie Goh and
    • Muhammad Syahiran Bin Sulong Kahirudin, one of our students from the Supply Chain Management programme


  • The IAL Learning Festival, alongside our main event, offers innovative solutions and taster workshops to showcase the transformative power of continuous learning. Graduates of the WSQ Advanced Certificate in Learning and Performance (WSQ ACLP) 2.0 will also be running their sessions, a testament to the impact of lifelong learning.
  • Additionally, don't miss out on the various breakout activities organised by our friends at the other institute of higher learning.


  1. Before I end my speech today, I urge you to make the most of this enriching day.
  1. Let us embrace the spirit of lifelong learning and let us embark on a journey of growth and exploration together to make a positive impact on our future. Thank you.
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