Singapore citizens who have enlisted in Basic Military Training will be pleased to know that SkillsFuture Singapore is planning to formally accredit their National Service Skills, with a mind to helping them access better career opportunities. This new development was announced by Ong Ye Kung, who is Singapore’s Second Minister for Defense, on the third of March, 2017.
Who is Eligible for the New Initiative?
Full-time NSmen and NSmen who are operationally ready will be eligible for this type of accreditation. As you may already know, enlisting in the National Service is mandatory for males in Singapore. Most men serve for two years before being deemed, “operationally ready”.
Since the skills gathered during service are valuable, it makes sense that they will be accredited by SkillsFuture Singapore. In particular, enlistees discover the best way to function in effective and cohesive teams. In many cases, training provided by the National Service is superior to that which is provided in the corporate world.
In addition to accredited teamwork skills, there is also the possibility of accrediting other aspects of National Service training, including technical skills, specialist skills and leadership. All accredited skills will be recognized by the WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualification), which is a governing body for credentialing workers. The new accreditation initiative will give NSmen enhanced Certificates of Service. The certificates will be awarded at the time when NSmen become “operationally ready”.
By the end of next year, the certificate should be upgraded to include new achievements, including any awards received, any commendations from superiors and any milestones. This information comes from the Second Defense Minister.
At present, Ministry of Defense stats show that twenty-three SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) courses are accredited. New National Service recruits will get certificates via WSQ each year and commanders will get even more recognition, as they have fulfilled leadership roles with the National Service.
Right now, naval divers and commandos will need to wait for upgraded accreditation. The process is moving forward but is not complete as of yet.
While the NS is about protecting Singapore and giving its men the right skills for protecting the island city-state, the accreditation is a nice bonus. It’s not the purpose of mandatory service, but it’s still important. In the eyes of the Second Defense Minister, the primary purpose of this service is about instilling the right traits in young men, with a mind to making Singapore as great as it can be. For example, enlistees develop character, learn to be resilient and develop strong bonds with fellow servicemen. This type of skill-building is priceless and very beneficial to Singapore as a whole.
When a man completes his tenure in the National Service, he has proved himself to be hard-working and honorable. He’s gathered skills which he may then utilize for a lifetime. It’s great to know that SkillsFuture Singapore recognizes this and that better accreditation is in place, or being put into place.
Singapore Is a Unique Place
Singapore combines mandatory national service with a progressive government. It’s a great place to live and work.