Over 340 firms benefit from training support

The programme provides subsidies for course fees and the absentee payroll of the worker's hourly basic salary. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

More than 340 companies in Singapore have benefited from training support as part of measures to help firms during the outbreak, and almost 18,000 training places have been taken up.

This upskilling initiative comes under the Enhanced Training Support Package that was introduced during the supplementary Resilience Budget.

It covers eligible courses starting before Jan 1 next year to help selected sectors tide over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and to help them position themselves for the recovery.

The sectors include air transport, arts and culture, food services, point-to-point services such as taxi, private-hire drivers and private bus companies, retail and tourism.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said yesterday: "Some of the more popular training areas include improving service excellence and SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace.

"These will help companies and workers to develop deeper skills and build stronger capabilities during this period, to be ready for new opportunities and challenges when we progressively open up the economy."

The programme provides subsidies for course fees and the absentee payroll of the worker's hourly basic salary.

Mr Chee added in the Facebook post: "I encourage more enterprises to send their staff for training, to upskill and support their business transformation for the new operating environment."

He added that agencies such as Enterprise Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore are engaging the trade associations and chambers to discuss how business activities can resume when conditions allow. "We must start to prepare, so we can prepare to start."

Ms Karen Tan, human resources director at Paradise Group, said that around 130 employees of the restaurant chain went for training last month, in courses ranging from digital skills to service-related techniques.

She said: "We are prioritising employees who are not rostered to work to go for these courses during this time, since we have temporarily shut more than 50 per cent of the restaurants and there are some who don't have work to do."

Sats chief human capital officer Lilian Tan said that staff in the aviation industry can also learn the right skill sets to prepare them better to tackle challenges on the job. Sats is the chief ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at Changi Airport.

She added: "Investing in training during this downtime not only ensures that one stays relevant, but also helps companies to groom a strong pipeline of talent to weather disruptions or gear up for their next phase of growth."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2020, with the headline Over 340 firms benefit from training support. Subscribe