WSG Launches 18 Career Conversion Programmes Catered to Help Transform the Tourism and Lifestyle Sectors

The Workforce Singapore (WSG) programmes will help firms redesign jobs and reskill workers to pivot to new growth areas in digital sales and marketing.
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 25 Aug 2021

Since January 2020, Workforce Singapore (WSG) has created 18 Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) to help tourism and lifestyle sector workers take up in-demand digital roles by acquiring digital and technical skills.

As of mid-August 2021, more than 3,100 workers from over 200 companies enrolled in CCPs for the tourism and lifestyle services sector – a 30-fold increase from the 110 workers who enrolled in 2019.

The CCPs is expected to further benefit another 1,400 workers from now till December 2022.

The government agency created the programmes after consulting union representatives and associations.

WSG and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued on 25 August 2021 a Job Situation Report (JSR)  that gave a closer look on how the programmes have helped firms redesign jobs and reskill workers in digital sales and marketing.

According to the report, the CCPs helped workers become digital strategist, digital marketing executives or managers, and digital solutions operations executives.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo responded to the report on Facebook.

He said: “Covid-19 has caused permanent disruptive structural changes in tourist and consumer demand for hospitality products. Not only will consumers eschew mass gatherings, they are likely to demand much higher standards of hygiene and wellness measures in the long run.”

Mr Choo added that the CCPs allow workers to simultaneously go for skills upgrading, while still maintaining a certain level of subsistence.

“Workers have bills to pay and the scheme provides for salary support. The tripartite partners understand this, and will continue to provide assisted skills upgrading to navigate such choppy times,” he said.

The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers' Union Deputy Secretary-General Andy Lim said that digital skills today are more crucial than ever before for the tourism and lifestyle sectors. This is especially so in the face of the ongoing pandemic, where individuals are dependent on social platforms to send and receive information.

“Workers need to upgrade and upskill themselves so as to be ahead of things and be employable,” said Mr Lim, who is also the NTUC Chairman for the Hospitality and Retail Services Cluster.

In-Demand Skillsets

The JSR also listed in-demand skills by different sectors, and the corresponding CCP for interested workers.

In-Demand Skillsets and Their Corresponding Career Conversion Programmes.

Improving Digital Sales and Marketing Skills – Hotels

As part of the Stabilisation and Support Package, WSG and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched in March 2020 the Digital Marketing Place-and-Train Programme.

Surveying a group of nearly 60 companies, WSG found that 23 per cent of them were still only using traditional media for their sales and marketing efforts, and that 75 per cent of them would like to improve their digital sales and marketing skills.

Through WSG’s regular industry engagements, it also found that smaller, independent hotels would like to improve on their digital sales and marketing skills.

WSG, with the support of STB, will address this by launching the enhanced CCP for Digital Marketing Tourism Professionals in September 2021.

The programme will have new digital sales modules such as optimising sales conversion techniques and maintaining after-sale customer relationships through digital channels.

Trainees are required to develop digital marketing campaigns as well as sales pitches for their companies. The programme is expected to help employees from the hotel and MICE, attractions, tour & travel (MAT) sectors take on roles as digital sales and marketing executives, product specialists, and business development specialists over the next two years.

Supporting Mid-career Switchers

Although the tourism and lifestyle services sectors have been badly hit by the pandemic, companies are still hiring in-demand digital roles such as digital marketing executives, and digital sales or e-commerce executives.

There are currently close to 100 vacancies for these roles on MyCareersFuture.

Mid-career jobseekers who are interested to join the tourism and lifestyle services sector can consider taking up CCP programmes such as CCP for Housekeeping Specialist, CCP for Restaurant Manager (Value Chain Management), and CCP for Professional Executives (Retail Track).

Transforming Businesses Together with the Workforce

Beyond transforming their workforce, MOM and WSG stated that businesses need to redesign their business models and job roles to meet the new needs of the industry too.

To do so, companies in the tourism and lifestyle services sectors can tap on the Service Industry Transformation Programme (SITP).

The programme provides practical guidance on processes, products, or services that companies can innovate through service design and digitalisation, as well as job redesign.

About 60 companies have redesigned their processes and job roles to become more productive and manpower efficient since SITP was launched in September 2019.

STB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) also have a range of programmes to help local enterprises recover and transform their businesses.

More details on the programmes can be found here.