First public sector training institute formed through a tripartite collaboration.
National University Health System’s (NUHS) working professionals will now have a new avenue to upskill throughout their careers.
NUHS launched on 10 August 2023 the new NUHS Academy. It aims to provide learning, networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities to the 16,000-strong NUHS workforce spanning medical, nursing, allied health, administrative and ancillary roles.
NUHS partnered with the Labour Movement’s Healthcare Academy (HCA), public and private agencies, academia, and institutes of higher learning to set up the academy. HCA comprises the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), NTUC LearningHub and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute).
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, NUHS Chief Executive Professor Yeoh Khay Guan, HSEU President and NUH Branch Chairperson K. Thanaletchimi, NUHS Deputy Chief Executive Chua Song Khim, together with NUHS Academy Chairs Adjunct Professor Lau Tang Ching, Dr Catherine Koh, Adjunct Associate Professor Michael Ong and Priscilla Teo launched the academy.
The launch event occurred at a National Day Observance Ceremony at the NUHS Auditorium.
Minister Ong said: “It started as a vision three years ago to bring together workforce development programmes across healthcare professions.
“In developing this plan, we will collaborate with NTUC to pilot NTUC LearningHub’s (LHUB) learning experience platform. And there are already 75,000 mass open online courses available.
“NUHS Academy has also partnered [with] Healthcare Academy, a collaboration between HSEU and e2i, the employment and employability institute, as well as NTUC LearningHub to upskill patient services associates.”
Minister Ong also stressed the importance of tripartism in ensuring Singapore’s continued sovereignty and independence.
The new NUHS Academy provides programmes for NUHS employees across all job groups, including certified courses and staff accreditation training.
The academy works with consultants, healthcare experts and specialist domain professionals to develop new knowledge and advanced clinical practices to harness the NUHS workforce’s internal capabilities and support the growth of Singapore’s healthcare sector.
It will also leverage well-established industry-developed technical skills frameworks, advanced medical technologies, processes and systems, and proactive research and innovations.
The new academy comprises four centres for excellence in medical, nursing, allied health, leadership and workforce. These centres adopt in-class learning pedagogies and processes, case stories, industry-benchmarked workplace-based experiential learning, and international standards.
The four centres will offer diverse career and learning pathways, skills frameworks, and capability programmes.
The academy will also ensure that staff have sustainable careers and be future-ready. It will do so by setting up a one-stop knowledge and resource hub and serving as a technology and innovation hub. Other focus areas include building internal capabilities, strengthening industry capabilities and establishing local and international partnerships and networks.
Professor Yeoh said: “As we create our future together, it is important that NUHS continues to help our people grow and learn in [their] careers.
“That is why we’re launching the NUHS Academy today – our one-stop hub that will bring learning, innovating, networking, and knowledge-sharing under one roof.
“It’s open to the entire NUHS workforce, as well as our partners and students.
“It is my fervent wish that with the support of the academy, many of our staff can reach your full potential and career aspirations right here at NUHS.”
The new NUHS Academy is the first healthcare institution within a public healthcare cluster that incorporates the tripartite ethos of Government, unions and company working together to bolster the healthcare sector.
Ms Thanaletchimi shared: “When HCA was launched sometime in 2019, what we had in mind was to work with all the healthcare institutions, especially the public healthcare institutions, to level up the training, continuous education among all employees … because we know that some jobs will be obsolete with time, with the cutting-edge technology being embraced by the healthcare sector.”
As a partner of the NUHS Academy, Ms Thanaletchimi said that HCA acts as a bridge to bring training providers like NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) together with worker funding by NTUC’s e2i to support workers’ upskilling ambitions holistically.
LHUB CEO Jeremy Ong shared that LHUB’s appointment as a continuing training and centre for the healthcare sector will enable it to design high-quality, relevant and optimally funded courses for the new NUHS Academy.
e2i deputy CEO and HCA deputy chairman Gary Goh added that e2i is looking forward to equipping healthcare workers with the right skills to meet the sector’s ongoing transformation needs.
Ms Thanaletchimi revealed that HSEU also set up a Jobs, Skills and Training Committee (equivalent to a Company Training Committee) with NUHS to equip healthcare workers with adaptive, technology and technical skills to take on future jobs. The committee will support employers in training their workers through job redesign.