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How Singapore is branding education as a global EdTech solution producing top talent and skills

As we enter 2021, the pandemic continues to challenge how we live, learn, and do business.

The limits of Southeast Asia’s infrastructure is being tested. After nearly a year of disruption, opportunities have emerged.

From home-based learning to online professional education and training, COVID-19 has accelerated the global adoption of EdTech. The digital transformation of industries — already in motion before the pandemic’s arrival — is quickly making some jobs redundant while creating opportunities for new roles. 

The Alliances for Action on EduTech, under Singapore’s Emerging Stronger Taskforce, is driving opportunities where education sector players are collaborating on solutions.

EduTech Alliance for Action. Video: MTI Singapore

EdTech opportunities

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted opportunities to digitalize the education and training sector globally.

“EduTech has always been an exciting space, and with COVID-19, the opportunities are boundless for individuals and businesses alike,” said Tan Chin Hwee, Co-Lead of the EduTech Alliances for Action, Asia-Pacific CEO of Trafigura, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National Institute of Education (NIE) board member. 

“Singapore’s position as a gateway to Southeast Asia puts us in good stead to grow and to support the growth of EduTech in Singapore and the region. With the collaborative spirit forged by the Alliances for Action, we can leverage on each other’s strengths, and go further, together,” he said.

MTI says that leveraging digital solutions opens the window for Singapore to move into this growth area, and take its education and human capital brand global.

“Continued investments in education would position Singapore as a global talent hub, and strengthen the competitiveness of our workforce,” said MTI, in a news release.


A Hack-A-Future workshop in June 2020 brought together players from private education, Institutes of Higher Learning, corporations, and government agencies, to formulate and select venture concepts to advance EdTech in Singapore. 

“I am encouraged by the commitment and passion shown by the industry stakeholders who have set aside individual interests and worked together to catalyze growth opportunities particularly in skills development and continuing education,” said Dilys Boey, Assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore and Lead of the EduTech Alliances for Action. 

“It is through the collective insights and experience across multiple stakeholders that allow the ventures to ideate, prototype, and market test solutions quickly,” she continued.

By exploring the use of technology to help Singaporeans upskill and reskill for current challenges and future jobs, MTI says that the Alliances for Action on EduTech will strengthen the Singapore education brand to remain attractive to top talent. 

“The training and adult education sector is a critical enabler for the SkillsFuture movement,” said Ong Tze-Ch’in, Chief Executive of SkillsFuture Singapore, a government agency under the Ministry of Education

“We welcome the work of the EduTech Alliances for Action to engender new public-private partnerships and to strengthen and transform the sector.”

Singapore’s education brand

The ventures would aid to strengthen Singapore Education as a brand where Singapore’s top talent and EdTech products can be exported to the region. 

Projects from the Hack-A-Future workshop include:

ZilLearn Skills, the first fully integrated career advancement platform that provides personalized career and learning recommendations for Singaporeans through skill sets evaluation, leveraging data-driven job market insights and identifying upskilling and reskilling needs to future proof careers and transform lifelong learning. 

The Agility Growth Index (AGI), an analytics tool that helps companies of all sizes understand the learning behaviors and motivators of their workforce, allowing them to effectively engage and retain high performers. 

WorkGuide.co aims to become the go-to local guide for the emerging workforce with the largest resource of questions and insight on work matters. 

eduCLaaS Academy is a venture concept seeking to bridge digital skills mismatches across Asia with innovative applied learning delivery and advanced educational technology. The eduCLaaS platform connects higher education students, working adults, hiring employers, and higher education institutions for scalable digital talents incubation and deployment in Singapore and across Asia.

Of the four ventures, the Agility Growth Index and eduCLaaS Academy have been launched. The ventures aim to support Singaporeans in their skills acquisition and career pathways, to be better prepared for current challenges, and to embrace new opportunities.

All four ventures target various segments of Singapore’s current and future workforce: existing workers, new job entrants, job seekers, students, and working adults in higher education.

“Over the past few months, we’ve worked closely with government agencies. They have provided us with invaluable insights for our initiative,” said Kydon Group’s David Yeo, who is leading the ZilLearn Skills project.

“We’re all excited to roll out Singapore’s first fully integrated career advancement platform soon.”

LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia showcases innovation in learning in Asia. We feature stories and resources in online learning, workplace learning, adult education, EdTech, and creative solutions by teachers and trainers in learning institutions, non-profits, and enterprises that enhance human capacity and inspire communities of lifelong learners.