2nd Skill Yourself – Equip Yourself For Alternative Opportunities

31 Dec 2018 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

While most people would take upskilling courses related to their current profession, NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) trainee Neo Kai Jie dared to do quite the opposite. Looking to broaden his horizons, he took the leap to equip himself for an entirely different field.

A freelance website developer by day, Neo Kai Jie spends his time working with advertising agencies helping clients turn their ideas into functional web portals, with tasks ranging from maintenance to revamping ecommerce sites.

Who would have guessed that he has recently attained multiple Workplace, Safety and Health (WSH) certifications! An unexpected move for sure, so we had a chat with Kai Jie to learn more on why he made that decision and how NTUC LHUB certifications will open up doors to new opportunities for him.

With WSQ Certificate in WSHWSQ Advanced Certificate in WSH, as well as Manage WSH in Manufacturing Industry credentials under his belt, Kai Jie has had quite the in-depth foray into WSH courses. For a web developer with a background as a usability specialist this might seem out of the blue, but it turns out his inspiration all along was his family.

“I have a younger brother who works as a Shipping Coordinator at the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), and my father is a resident Technical Officer in the construction sector,” shared Kai Jie. “I have had the chance to see where my father works, and when I saw aspects of their operations such as the people stationed to guide traffic or the machinery and signages, it made me realise the importance of safety and managing risks.”

The NTUC LHUB trainers are really engaging, and they often share with us real-life anecdotes that reinforce our learning.

Even though workplace safety is a distant field from IT, Kai Jie actually first came across it in one of his previous web projects.

“While working on a website revamp for the Ministry of Manpower a few years back, I read up on their Workplace Safety and Health Council and that was when I gained a better understanding of this specialised industry!” Kai Jie reflected.

Why He Chose NTUC LHUB – And Why He Keeps Coming Back

In fact, it was Kai Jie’s father who told him that there were WSH courses available, and encouraged him to sign up for them! Kai Jie is frank when it comes to why he first chose NTUC LHUB, and that is the affordability.

“The Workfare Training Support (WTS) funding was particularly attractive for me, because it made learning more affordable and accessible,” he said.

But after his first course, he kept coming back for more, and a big reason is the lecturers and coursemates that he works with on group projects in class.

“NTUC LHUB trainers are really engaging, and they often share with us real-life situations and anecdotes that reinforce our learning. For my first few courses, I had really open and friendly lecturers who gave me a great introduction to the world of safety,” enthused Kai Jie.

“One of the best parts is the group work with other classmates, as they come from vastly different backgrounds. There was someone who worked in safety signage, and a lady who worked in the oil and gas industry that would come in her overalls after work straight to class,” recalled Kai Jie. “So when the lecturers gave us project work, each of us could bring different perspectives and I could learn how these people played a unique role in their respective fields.”

On A Non-Stop Train to Upskill Town

While a career in WSH may be on the horizon, for the short-term, Kai Jie is still keen on broadening his IT-related skills which are relevant to his current line of work. With the SkillsFuture Top-Up coming in, he is considering learning more about front-end development, as well as picking up full stack developer skills, which involves both the client and server software.

Whether he is learning about the latest user interface languages or WSH hazards, Kai Jie understands the need to always learn something new, and the positive impact it can have on your life.

“With each new course I take, it gives me the chance to deepen my skill sets. But in my opinion, apart from just taking courses, I also need to apply the knowledge I gained in work or life for me to really internalise what I learned,” said Kai Jie. “I think upskilling is important for us to advance in our career, especially when I think of my brother who is still doing tough shift work. Improving ourselves is a way to progress and move up towards better jobs.”

Meanwhile, he has already begun browsing job portals for WSH careers, with a bookmark on a position in PSA that he is considering.

“I hope to start from the ground-up in operations where I can learn a lot on the job, then maybe after two or three years I can apply for licensing,” said Kai Jie. “But regardless, when I do start applying for WSH-related opportunities, my NTUC LHUB certifications will definitely come in handy!”

Since 2004, we have fulfilled over 2.4 million training places and transformed over 21,000 organisations.

Regardless of collar, age or nationality, we are here to help you upgrade your skills to keep up with a rapidly changing workforce. For more information on how we can help, talk to our friendly Course Consultants at NTUC Trade Union House, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, LHUB@Tampines Mall or any of our roadshows islandwide.

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