The jobs of the future will be in personalised services and the government is developing the potential for graduates to get into such skilled-jobs here in Singapore.

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance and Transport, said that the jobs that are likely to be created and retained in the future are not necessarily college-level jobs. In the United States, for example, Mrs Teo pointed out that one of the fastest growing areas of employment is in personalised services such as healthcare and personal care, which includes the beauty industry.

However, Mrs Teo explained that, in Singapore, the government already recognises this and that is why applied degree pathways are being developed in areas where opportunities of the future lie. Speaking at the plaque presentation ceremony for graduates from the Sikh community in Singapore, she highlighted that the committee that studied higher education in Singapore, headed by Minister of State for Education, Mr Lawrence Wong, identified that more degree pathways have to be created to offer degree education to train graduates for jobs with applied skills and practice-oriented fields, rather than just general degree education. “It may involve providing a degree in culinary science, so we could train someone not as an ordinary chef, but a highly-qualified chef.”

Earlier, Mr Malminderjit Singh, YSA’s President, had highlighted in his speech that Singapore’s low unemployment rate, which hovers around two percent, is a stark contrast to the plight of youth unemployment in the troubled European economies, such as Spain, where more than 50 percent of youth remain unemployed.

Expanding on a speech made by Mr Singh, Mrs Teo also touched on these high unemployment rates in Spain and Portugal, and the long-lasting detrimental socio-economic impact that unemployment has on its citizens. Mrs Teo added that job creation is something that the Singapore government bears in mind and always strives to keep the economy vibrant so that good employment opportunities are always available for fresh graduates when they enter the workforce.

In her concluding words of advice to the graduates, Mrs Teo said that the graduates’ educational achievements must be complemented with a steady character that can be developed through active citizenry and community involvement. The responsibility falls on the next generation to stay connected to the community, maintain its heritage, understand its needs and contribute to the progress of the community.

Organised by YSA and the Sikh Centre, Singapore, the presentation ceremony aims at recognising the academic achievements of Sikhs, including those who pursue post-graduate studies and continuous learning. It is an important platform to engage Sikh graduates and to impress upon them the need for them, as intellectuals, to contribute to the Sikh community and Singapore society. It is also an opportunity for them to develop networks with their fellow graduates.

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