Workers Must Continue to Upskill as Singapore Heads into Industry 4.0

NTUC hosts a focus group discussion as part of its #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations to get views on workers’ continuous career progression and development.
By Shukry Rashid 01 Oct 2022
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For workers to be equipped with relevant skills as Singapore aspires towards Industry 4.0, companies should upgrade their workers to be more productive, said NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

He said as Singapore moves into sunrise industries such as pharmaceuticals, higher value production and green economy, workers need to have the skills and be prepared for the transition.

Mr Ng added that the Government will support both business transformation and workforce transformation.

Company Training Committees

Mr Ng was speaking at a focus group discussion on 1 October 2022 at Downtown East with more than 70 representatives from unions, employers, the Government and human resources associations to gather their views on workers’ continuous career progression and development.

The discussion was part of NTUC’s #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations.

Mr Ng said that company training committees (CTCs) have made good progress since the initiative’s launch in 2019.

The labour chief said companies and unions across various industries currently form more than a thousand CTCs.

Through the CTCs, NTUC aims to support workers in achieving better work prospects through company training.

Topics of Discussion

One topic discussed during the focus group discussion was on horizontal integration of training and upskilling between companies.

Participants said that mentorship could be good for employees to learn from experienced mentors who can guide them on skills gaps.

Another topic discussed was micro-credentials or mini competency-based qualifications. Participants said getting more micro-credentials will be useful and lets employers know if workers are more suitable for specific tasks.

Participants also discussed the need to establish best practices for training. One initiative proposed was for companies to implement mandatory training leave for workers to have time away from work to attend courses.

Participant Shaifulazli Ghazali, said that his employer ST Aerospace has something similar in place in the form of exam and study leave, which he has benefited from.

The 44-year-old training instructor added: “Mandatory training leave is very relevant for employees to gain new skills. Businesses and employers will benefit and grow with employees who have upgraded, and workers will also have a better career progression.”

Mr Shaifulazli also said that the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations is a good initiative to reach down to every worker and worker type.

The focus group discussion was part of the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, a larger-scale series of engagements by the Labour Movement to engage all workers across various life stages.

To participate in the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, visit conversations.ntuc.sg.