Nine associations appointed to help SMEs adopt manpower-lean solutions

SINGAPORE - Nine trade associations and chambers (TACs) and industry partners have been tasked with raising awareness and driving adoption of manpower-lean solutions and building a workforce with a strong Singaporean core under the Lean Enterprise Development (LED) Scheme.

These associations will encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt manpower-lean solutions, will facilitate solution development for groups of similar companies, and will guide SMEs in developing quality proposals for LED projects.

The LED Scheme, unveiled in October 2015, is intended to help progressive SMEs transform and grow in the new manpower-lean landscape. This programme provides support to SMEs that want to be pioneers and early adopters of change by becoming more manpower-lean, building a stronger Singaporean core and enhancing workforce capabilities.

Known as the "LED Multipliers", the nine TACs and industry partners are: Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Workforce Advancement Federation, Restaurant Association of Singapore, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association, U SME (an NTUC initiative), Singapore Business Federation, Singapore National Employers Federation, and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Collectively, the LED Multipliers aim to help 400 SMEs come on board the LED Scheme over the next two years.

Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of WDA, said: "Singapore's economy is being restructured to focus on productivity-driven growth. Therefore, it is imperative that all companies embrace manpower-lean solutions in order to remain competitive, drive business growth and develop a strong Singaporean core in their workforce. The LED Multipliers will encourage SMEs to embrace the LED Scheme so that they can implement manpower-lean business models and practices, and develop deep skills in Singaporeans."

Dr Robert Yap, president of SNEF, said: "Amongst the businesses in Singapore, there will be progressive SMEs that possess and demonstrate the potential to grow faster but may be inhibited by manpower constraints.

"As an LED Multiplier, SNEF will help them adapt to the manpower-lean landscape by supporting them in transforming their businesses. As early-adopters of change, these SMEs can also help to create a multiplier effect by diffusing their know-hows to other SMEs in the future. This will raise the overall productivity and competitiveness of SMEs in Singapore."