An Experience That’s Worth More Than Just The Certificate

16 Apr 2020 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

It can be tough staying relevant in the ever-changing job market, especially with the risk of being left in the dust as technology advances. That’s not a problem for NTUC LearningHub trainee Ng Soon, whose love for learning gives him the peace of mind to pursue his passions.

“You can say I’m a jack of all trades,” remarked Ng Soon. “Before I got my current security guard job with Metropolis, I’ve been a taxi driver, a plumber, an electrician and more! While working in security can be tough, I enjoy the flexibility of doing it part-time as I can decide when and who I want to work with.”

According to the 66-year-old, securing this position back in 2019 was a breeze after he attained certifications at NTUC LearningHub, including Certificate in Security Operations (CSO) and Recognise Terrorist Threats. Having attended NTUC LearningHub courses since 2017, Ng Soon is always on the lookout for interesting courses to stay updated.

Making New Connections Along the Way

Apart from the security-related courses he took for his job, Ng Soon also studied computer literacy courses such as Use Essential Features of a Computer and Perform Presentation Functions.


“The teachers in my classes were all kind, patient, and passionate,” reflected Ng Soon. “Really, my biggest challenge was the language – none of the courses were taught in Chinese, so sometimes I struggled to understand what the instructor was saying in English.”

But he didn’t have to face his challenge alone. “My fellow course mates would always help me with my English, explaining things or translating them into Chinese for me so that we could all pass the course together!” smiled Ng Soon. “I’d say don’t be afraid to ask questions with confidence if you’re ever unsure. Whenever I didn’t understand something, I would just ask the NTUC LearningHub instructors and they would guide me patiently.”

It is always more fun to attend courses with friends, since you can help one another and learn together!

Ng Soon is proof that taking upskilling courses are worth so much more than just the certifications. It was an opportunity for him to meet new friends and make new connections. “The oldest person in one of my courses was 73 years old! We have a WhatsApp chat group with the other course mates and we still keep in contact, recommending each other places to eat or courses we might be interested in attending together,” shared Ng Soon.

It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New

While it is not uncommon for people of Ng Soon’s age to get lost in the digital world, he remains undaunted and interested in learning more. “I really want to get better at using mobile applications and smartphones, so I am considering taking the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace course,” he commented. “I use my computer in my daily life, so I think it’s important to take refresher courses to stay on top of all the latest updates.”

All that computer literacy goes a long way in supporting his true passion – photography! His computer is what stores the thousands of photos that he has taken since 2012. “I’ve got three cameras, my best one being the Nikon D60,” said Ng Soon as he readily opened up his special dry cabinet to show us his lenses and equipment.

“I’ve been to Langkawi with friends to take photos of eagles. I’ve shot pictures at the zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the National Day fireworks, and even got chased out by security once when trying to shoot the Chingay Parade!” he laughed heartily.

Beyond the click of the camera, Ng Soon hopes to pick up photo editing skills as well, and has his eyes set on NTUC LearningHub’s Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop course.

The Fuel to Never Stop Learning

A Word to the Wise

Ng Soon’s journey with NTUC LearningHub began when he approached course consultants at the counter of LHUB@Tampines Mall. He found them to be exceptionally helpful as they equipped him with the information he needed to get started. But when it comes to upskilling, he believes it all boils down to one thing – interest.

“To me, it’s not so much about learning a skill just because it’s important for job security or for a promotion,” said Ng Soon. “I want to learn because I am interested in discovering new things, and if I have friends who share that same interest, I would gladly recommend NTUC LearningHub courses to them.”

Ng Soon’s goal? To become his own boss, of course. A true embodiment of the Chinese idiom “活到老,学到老”, or literally “live till you’re old, learn till you’re old”, he hopes to one day manage a simple business as a tradesman and not need to worry about finding a job.

When asked what advice he would give to those feeling unsure about their career, Ng Soon says to start by looking within. “Take stock of yourself and your motivations,” advises Ng Soon. “If you have the passion and enthusiasm to learn and grow, nothing will stop you from pursuing your goals.”

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.

Employment and Employability, LHUB@Tampines Mall or any of our roadshows islandwide.

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