Speech at Hua Mei Training Academy WSQ Graduation Ceremony 2019
Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Devan Nair Institute
- Good evening everyone. I am very happy to join you this evening at Hua Mei Training Academy’s WSQ Graduation Ceremony.
- My heartiest congratulations to all the graduates.
Spirit of Lifelong Learning
- In a world where change is constant, the motivation to learn, adapt and grow helps us stay resilient. You have shown this wonderful ability by embracing the spirit of lifelong learning!
- Each of you here took a leap of faith to venture out into a new area. Instead of sticking to things you were familiar with, you stepped out of your comfort zone to gain new skills, or upgraded your skills to stay relevant.
- I applaud each and every one of you for the courage, hard work and tenacity you have shown to get here. Your “can-do” attitude is just what we need in today’s economy as it is transforming rapidly.
- Mr William Lim, who is graduating with both the WSQ Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Community and Social Services (CSS), is an example of a lifelong learner who’s motivated and adaptable. William has three decades of experience in Engineering. When he made the switch to the Social Services sector, it was challenging. Not only was it very different working with the elderly, it was also tough going back to school after so many years. With help from Hua Mei Training Academy, William steadily picked up the skills and knowledge needed for caring for the elderly. His determination paid off, and in July this year, William was appointed the Centre Manager of Moral Seniors Activity Centre in Kaki Bukit.
- Like William, Ms Sharon Tang moved from the corporate world to the social services sector to pursue what she feels is a more meaningful vocation serving the elderly. During the transition, Sharon had to juggle course work and project timelines with family responsibilities. She is now a Programme Executive with Care Corner Senior Activity Centre and is graduating with the WSQ Diploma in CSS.
- Many of you here have overcome many challenges to graduate today. We commend with your determination and hard work.
- Today we have 104 graduates receiving the WSQ Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Community and Social Services. Out of these, 47 graduates benefitted from the Workfare Training Support provided, and 35 were given the SkillsFuture Mid-career Enhanced Subsidy. I am also glad to know that many of you used your SkillsFuture Credits to enrol in these programmes.
- These support schemes from the government aim to help individuals reskill and upskill and we are delighted you have benefitted from these programmes. We hope more Singaporeans will follow in your footsteps.
Growing need for Healthcare Workers
- As we all know, Singapore is ageing at a much faster pace than before. Currently, there are 4.4 working-age citizens for every senior; and this could drop to about 2.4 by 2030. We will therefore have fewer young people to support the old.
- This means that the demand for healthcare workers in the eldercare sector in particular, will continue to rise.
- The Tsao Foundation set up the Hua Mei Training Academy in 1995 with the aim to provide education and skills development in eldercare and promote successful ageing.
- I would like to express my appreciation to the Tsao Foundation and the Hua Mei Training Academy for partnering the Government in efforts to develop workers for the healthcare industry. You play an invaluable role in nurturing individuals with the right set of skills to serve the growing needs of the healthcare and eldercare sectors.
- To all our graduates here today, this is a proud moment in your life. The training and skills you have gained, together with your positive attitude and desire to improve, will stand you in good stead for the future.
- With your passion to serve the seniors in our community, I am confident you will all go on to touch the lives of many. With your spirit of lifelong learning, you are an inspiration to many!
- Congratulations once again to our graduates. I wish you all the best!