IT IS encouraging to note that Continuing Education and Training programmes will be revamped under the CET Masterplan 2020 ("Beyond competence, towards mastery of skills"; last Saturday).

Much of the motivation behind encouraging lifelong learning stems from the desire to prepare our workforce for a dynamic job market characterised by rapid technological advances and evolving economic trends.

To promote lifelong learning, perhaps we can review the subsidies for advanced or specialist diploma courses at the various CET centres.

First-time Singaporean trainees now enjoy a subsidy of 85 per cent of the cost of academic CET courses.

Those who go on to pursue subsequent diplomas can receive a 70 per cent subsidy, provided more than five years have lapsed since they completed their first diploma.

Such a policy is not aligned with the push to encourage citizens to equip themselves with a broader set of skills in anticipation of changes in market demands.

Given the rapid pace of technological changes, many technical skills - especially in the information and communications technology sector - would have become obsolete in five years.

I hope the Government will reduce the time interval for subsidies from five years to three.