Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has urged more companies to work with unions to form Company Training Committees (CTCs), calling them virtuous circles.
Mr Heng took to Facebook after a visit to content production company Vicinity Studio on 5 May 2022. The visit gave Mr Heng a first-hand look at how the CTC has helped the company upskill workers and take on new capabilities.
“There is no magic bullet to growing our economy and improving the lives of our workers. But these virtuous circles are an effective way that NTUC is partnering with our companies and the government to help our companies and workers grow.
“In a highly contested and fractious world, our way of tripartism is a source of strength as we grow the economic pie in a way that benefits everyone,” wrote Mr Heng.
NTUC President Mary Liew, Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, Deputy Secretary-General Chee Hong Tat, and Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) President David Teo were part of the entourage that accompanied Mr Heng on the visit. They were hosted by Vicinity Studio’s founder Kevin Ng.
Vicinity Studio has grown from a company with three staff in 2018 to 42 employees today, despite the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the past four years, Vicinity Studio has grown exponentially to a 40-person outfit, led by founder Kevin. I was most impressed by their strong belief in wanting to produce content which connects with and inspires people. What is also interesting about Vicinity is that the company is unionised,” said Mr Heng.
The company formed a CTC with CMPU in May 2021.
In July 2021, the company completed an Operation and Technology Roadmap (OTR) that helped it to chart its goals for the next three-years.
Part of the OTR was to strengthen the company’s HR capabilities, with support from the union and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute). The company also tapped on the NTUC-Education and Training Collaborative Fund to send its staff for training.
In his Facebook post, Mr Ng touched on the $70 million NTUC CTC Grant that will go towards scaling transformation efforts of companies.
“What this means for businesses is enhanced productivity and innovation, and the ability to attract and retain talent more effectively. In turn, our workers can have better work prospects, and better wages.
“This is part of our wider plans to drive the growth and transformation of Singapore’s economy for the future,” he said.
To date, NTUC has helped to form more than 900 CTCs. As announced at Budget 2022, it aims to form a total of 2,500 CTCs by 2025.