EM Services and five companies sign agreements with union to upskill workers

In all, 6,400 workers are expected to benefit from the initiative, including more than 1,000 at EM Services.
In all, 6,400 workers are expected to benefit from the initiative, including more than 1,000 at EM Services.PHOTO: EM SERVICES PTE LTD/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Property company EM Services has joined an initiative that will involve training its staff in the new tech skills needed for town management over the next three to five years.

The company is one of six from various industries that signed agreements on Friday (Nov 29) with Singapore Manual and Mercantile Workers' Union (SMMWU) to set up training committees.

These will identify the skills workers need, such as data analysis, as their jobs evolve with technology and work out training plans for them.

In all, 6,400 workers are expected to benefit, including more than 1,000 at EM Services, which manages around 60 per cent of Singapore's townships.

The agreements were inked at the union's 60th anniversary dinner at Mandarin Orchard Hotel.

The other companies that signed memorandums of understanding with the union were BHG Singapore, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, Orchid Country Club and Aranda Country Club, Parkway Pantai and ST Engineering Land Systems.

They pledged to set up training committees that prioritise upskilling initiatives.

National Trades Union Congress secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said: "Business transformation must go hand-in-hand with workers' training. Higher skilled workers improve company productivity and profits, and workers also benefit in the long run with improved work prospects and wages."

The agreement between EM Services and SMMWU will benefit employees who work in property management, technicians and supervisors, administrative support, horticulture management, project management and operations support. Over half of these employees who expect to benefit are aged 40 and above.


Both organisations will focus on bolstering staff tech skills. The union will build on EM Services' existing plans, which have trained employees in technology such as building information modelling and the use of an integrated system that digitalises work processes.

For instance, the system allows individual town councils to conduct active monitoring, knowledge building and crisis management through the use of big data.

SMMWU secretary-general David Yeo said: "Industry 4.0 has brought about new opportunities and challenges for workers in every sector.

"SMMWU is committed to help our workers upskill and build their capabilities so they feel confident, competitive and relevant amid this rapidly changing workscape."