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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Professions Covered By Workforce Skills Qualifications Framework

Notice Paper No. 293 Of 2014 For The Sitting On 07 Oct 2014 Question No. 247 For Written Answer

MP: Mr Ang Hin Kee

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) which are the sectors or professions that are not covered by the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework under the new Continuing Education and Training (CET) 2020 Masterplan; (b) whether there are measures in place to ensure that WSQ makes inroads into these sectors or professions; and (c) whether all public sector agencies that offer training are onboard the WSQ framework.


  1. There are currently 34 Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) frameworks which cover a broad range of sectors in the economy, including both manufacturing and services sectors such as Precision Engineering, Aerospace, Retail, Hospitality, Community and Social Services, Financial Services, Infocomm and Logistics. These WSQ frameworks are developed in consultation with Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) which comprise representatives from tripartite stakeholders such as employers, sectoral lead agencies, industry associations and unions.
  2. The Construction and Maritime sectors are examples of sectors which do not have WSQ frameworks. However, these sectors already have established training programmes in place, such as those offered by BCA Academy and Singapore Maritime Academy, which receive Government subsidies to facilitate workforce upgrading and skills development.
  3. As recently announced by DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the official opening of the Lifelong Learning Institute, a tripartite SkillsFuture Council will be set up to help Singaporeans develop skills relevant to the future, and to build a future based on mastery of skills in every job. The work of SkillsFuture will cover the whole workforce, and extend beyond what is covered under current WSQ frameworks.
  4. As part of this work, the new Council will develop sectoral manpower strategies, to: i) identify skills and manpower needs for each sector, ii) articulate clear progression pathways for workers based on skills; and iii) through this framework, help employers hire and develop their people. These skills-based frameworks will build and expand on the existing WSQ frameworks or credential systems established by the relevant authorities for specific industries. When completed, they will underpin the development of both Pre-Employment Training programmes offered by the post-secondary education institutions as well as the CET programmes. For employers, these frameworks will serve as useful reference to guide their HR practices such as recruiting and planning career progression pathways for their employees. Individuals will also better understand how they can deepen their skills in specific sectors and progress in their careers.