NTUC’s Company Training Committee (CTC) initiative has grown significantly since it was first mooted by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng in Parliament in 2019.
It is an initiative that helps bolster companies’ transformation process—an initiative championed by unions, related organisations, and worker associations from the Labour Movement.
What started as a pilot programme has now amassed some 1,700 signings between companies and unions, dedicated to bringing both businesses and workers into the realm of Industry 4.0.
If you do the math, that averages around one CTC uptake per day.
As of 31 October 2023, NTUC estimates that the CTC initiative has benefited some 123,000 workers in Singapore, helping to improve their productivity, work prospects and even their wages.
And the congress has no intention of slowing down this progress.
During this year’s National Delegates’ Conference (NDC), Mr Ng shared that he hopes to exceed the goal of 2,500 CTCs by 2025.
“It is not about the number, but the good we can do for our workers in better wages and better work prospects,” he said.
Recently, the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services issued a briefing paper that discusses the role tripartism plays in helping workers remain relevant in the future of work.
The paper titled “Training Workers for the Future Through Tripartite Partnerships” also focuses on how CTCs have been instrumental in this endeavour.
If you are a business owner or part of the company management contemplating transforming your business, here are seven benefits of CTCs for you to consider – as found in the briefing paper.
First and foremost is the CTCs’ ability to establish transformation and training strategies for your businesses with the help of your union and the Government.
Once a partnership has been formalised, NTUC and your union will step in to co-develop an operation and technology roadmap (OTR) based on your business goals and objectives.
This transformation roadmap has been key in helping many companies achieve greater productivity, innovation and profitability.
At this year’s NDC, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Ng gave examples of how companies such as Chew’s Agriculture and Dyna-Mac managed to achieve this through the CTC initiative.
Through technological enhancements, Mr Lee shared how Chew’s Agriculture managed to improve work efficiency threefold, while Mr Ng revealed that the initiative saved Dyna-Mac when the Marine, Oil and Gas sector was experiencing a slump during the pandemic.
But transformations are costly. New technologies and hardware can come with a hefty price tag, not to mention the cost of reskilling your workers to leverage these technologies.
This is where the Government steps in.
Recognising the value of CTCs, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced in his 2022 Budget Statement that the Ministry of Finance would be setting aside $100 million to help scale business transformations spearheaded by CTCs.
Known as the CTC Grant, if your company successfully applies for this grant, you will be able to recover up to 70 per cent of your transformation costs.
To be applicable for the grant, your business needs to achieve enhanced business capabilities, like innovation and productivity, and have improved employment outcomes for local workers through efforts such as job redesign and training.
And suppose you need to figure out how to get your workers reskilled. In that case, CTCs allow you to tap into NTUC’s integrated training ecosystem, connecting your business directly to education and training providers to help your workers acquire new skills.
CTCs can also help you identify jobs that digital transformation will likely disrupt during the OTR process.
With this knowledge, you will be able to retrain your workforce and divert manpower resources to other areas.
Along with these changes, NTUC and your union would be able to help co-develop a Career Development Plan for your workers, which will encourage them to embrace change and consider long-term career growth with your company.
If you need references to what other industry players are doing to train their workers, CTCs help connect you with other industry players to exchange training information.