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Employers’ perspectives of effective continuing education and training in Singapore

Anthony Leow (Centre for Educational Development, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, Singapore)
Shuyi Chua (Centre for Educational Development, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, Singapore)
Stephen Billett (Griffith University Arts Education and Law, Mount Gravatt, Australia)
Anh Hai Le (Griffith University Arts Education and Law, Mount Gravatt, Australia)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Employers often claim that the lack of employee competence is a limitation in their enterprises’ success and viability. Consequently, employers are important stakeholders in considerations for workforce continuing education and training (CET) policies and practices. Hence, the authors undertook an exploratory investigation to understand how employers perceive provisions of CET offered through tertiary education institutions and how they might be improved.

Design/methodology/approach

Overall, 40 employers from a range of industry sectors in Singapore were surveyed and interviewed about effective CET for their employees.

Findings

These employers reported preferring one-on-one training in the workplace and being willing to invest in their employees’ training so long employees remained committed to their companies. They value online education, but prefer that it is combined with workplace or face-to-face learning experiences. They proposed effective CET trainers as those with relevant industry knowledge and teaching skills and effective CET learners as those who were self-motivated, goal oriented and open-minded.

Originality/value

A study of such nature that focusses on the perspectives of employers, as opposed to employees and educators, has not been undertaken before in Singapore. Given Singapore’s increasing emphasis on lifelong learning and the workplace as a vital site for that learning, the lessons learnt here transcend national boundaries and may serve as a useful reference for other countries that seek to provide inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Workforce Development Applied Research Fund (WDARF) under the auspices of SkillsFuture Singapore administered through the Institute for Adult Learning, hosted by Republic Polytechnic and partnered by Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The research team acknowledges the support provided by all these institutions in advancing this project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of SkillsFuture Singapore or the Singapore Government.

Citation

Leow, A., Chua, S., Billett, S. and Le, A.H. (2023), "Employers’ perspectives of effective continuing education and training in Singapore", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-05-2022-0115

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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