Building overseas experience and deepening skills a focus for workers

Budget 2017 aims to help the Singaporean worker adapt to a rapidly changing world.

20 Feb 2017

To help the Singaporean worker stay ahead amidst the quickening pace of change, the Singapore Budget 2017 will focus on helping our workers build deeper skills and overseas experience.


The Global Innovation Alliance was announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Budget 2017 speech today. This programme aims to help Singaporean workers gain overseas experience, build international networks and create opportunities to collaborate with innovative overseas counterparts.

The Global Innovation Alliance consists of three parts: the Innovators Academy, Innovation Launchpads, and Welcome Centres.

The Innovators Academy will build on the existing NUS Overseas College programme and expand it to other Singapore universities. The NUS Overseas College programme connects students with overseas start-ups and help to build connections and their overseas capabilities. The Innovators Academy hopes to grow its intake to 500 students in the next five years.

Innovation Launchpads will be established in selected overseas markets to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners to connect with mentors, investors, and service providers. Welcome Centres will also help link up innovative foreign companies with Singaporean businesses to co-innovate, test new products and expand into the region.

The Government will strengthen the SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative to groom Singaporean leaders needed to drive overseas expansion of Singaporean businesses. This initiative will expand leadership development programmes, and send promising individuals on specialised courses and overseas postings. The programme aims to develop 800 potential leaders over the next three years.

The Government will set aside S$100 million for the SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative and the Global Innovation Alliance.


Singaporean workers will receive more help to adapt as the economy changes.

More accessible training: Tertiary institutions will offer more short and modular courses, and expand the use of e-learning. Singaporeans will continue to receive funding support for approved courses through SkillsFuture.

Better job matching: The Government will make the National Jobs Bank more useful for jobseekers and employers. It will work with private job placement firms to provide better job matching services.

Supporting training for workers: The Government will encourage trade associations and chambers, employers and unions to play a more active role in structuring training for workers by providing funding support from SkillsFuture Singapore.