Moves to boost skills of logistics workers

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon with ST Logistics chief executive (designate) Loganathan Ramasamy during a tour yesterday of Toll City, a next-generation logistics hub in Tuas.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon with ST Logistics chief executive (designate) Loganathan Ramasamy during a tour yesterday of Toll City, a next-generation logistics hub in Tuas.PHOTO: ST LOGISTICS

Efforts are under way to boost the logistics industry by improving the skills of workers in the sector, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon.

Dr Koh said yesterday: "The logistics sector forms the backbone of our economy and contributes to our quality of life...Emerging business and technology trends such as big data, 3D printing and digitalisation bring about new growth opportunities. Companies need to be agile to seize these new opportunities and, in turn, there will be improvements to existing jobs, as well as exciting new job opportunities."

He added that the scale of the sector's transformation will need to be accelerated. Businesses will also need to work with government agencies, trade associations and chambers, unions and institutes of higher learning.

Dr Koh made his remarks at a ceremony to mark agreements that home-grown firm ST Logistics has signed with NTUC LearningHub and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Its memorandum of understanding with NTUC LearningHub allows both parties to start working together on skills-upgrading efforts, while the partnership with NUS will provide more training opportunities for working adults.

These initiatives will give logistics workers opportunities to gain new skills and certification through courses and bachelor's and master's programmes.

Mr Loganathan Ramasamy, chief executive (designate) of ST Logistics, said: "In the face of increased automation and digitisation in the supply chain and logistics industry, developing our workers to help them adapt and stay in sync with the changes is crucial for our continued success."

 
 
 

Dr Koh announced on the sidelines of the event at Toll City - a next-generation logistics hub in Tuas - that Workforce Singapore will add 200 places in the Professional Conversion Programmes for logistics officers and executives to encourage more professionals to enter the sector. Over 450 professionals and executives have moved into the industry through such programmes since June 2017.

The National Trades Union Congress will also lead the formation of company training committees through the Supply Chain Employees' Union. These will look at how to curate training that is required on the ground. The committees can also examine how to redesign jobs and encourage workers to go for retraining.

Dr Koh noted: "If more stakeholders and partners can come together and find working collaboration... then this is the kind of ground-up initiatives we want to see happening in our workplaces."

"Together with national-level efforts to reskill, upgrade and future-proof our workforce, we will reinforce Singapore's position as a leading logistics hub."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2019, with the headline 'Moves to boost skills of logistics workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe