Developing a personal mastery of skills has always been essential for individuals to become more effective and productive at their workplace, says Kaplan Learning Institute’s assistant marketing manager Vincent Su.

Since the SkillsFuture Credit was made available on Jan 1 this year, the private education institution has enrolled 3,000 students in its Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) programmes from January to March — almost double the number in the same period last year. The majority of the students are Singaporeans over 40 years.

The private education institute currently provides a few hundred courses under various WSQ frameworks.

For individuals looking to upgrade their professional skills, the school recommends high impact courses such as Service Excellence (Certified Service Professional, Role Model the Service Vision, Develop Service Recovery Framework) as well as Leadership and People Management (Implement Change, Lead Team and Facilitate Achievement of Results).

Other recommended courses include Business Management and Financial Management programmes, which focus on guiding students on how to display critical thinking and analytical skills, apply basic negotiation skills and techniques, and manage project teams; while Executive Development and Growth for Excellence programmes guide students on how to solve problems and make decisions at the managerial level, develop a professional image and competence as well as managing cross functional and culturally diverse teams.

Workplace Skills imparts effective workplace communication and relational skills and know-how on complying with workplace safety and health policies and procedures; and International Computer Driving Licence, which features modules such as an introduction to excel with basic spreadsheet functions, creating impactful documents with word processing skills and powering up presentations with PowerPoint.

Far from being mundane, sit-down lectures, Kaplan instructors try to make course training interesting and unique.

Lessons are an engaging mix of role play, group discussions and lectures to appeal to trainees from all ages and walks of life, and to accommodate their visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.

From time to time, focus group discussions are conducted between course developers and students, such as in the preparation of mock examination contents, to help prepare students for the assessments after the courses.

The assessments help to serve as a benchmark and validation of students’ capabilities before they return to the working environment.

Getting a skills upgrade also does not necessarily mean having to spend a lot, especially with access to Skills Future funding and credits.

As Kaplan’s WSQ programmes are funded by the Workforce Development Agency, Singaporeans and permanent residents who sign up receive training grants directly.

Singaporeans aged 40 years and above can receive as much as 90 per cent off when they apply for training with Kaplan’s WSQ programmes. They can also utilise the $500 SkillsFuture Credit to offset the remaining course fees.

“This helps to make classes more affordable for individuals who are looking to upgrade their skills without incurring high fees,” Mr Su says.

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Article by Esther Teo
Source: The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.