New learning scheme launched for SME bosses to reskill and deepen their knowledge

SINGAPORE - A new initiative has been launched which drives home the message that the need to reskill and deepen existing knowledge is for everyone, including bosses.

The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)  has set up a closed portal for bosses of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with modules specifically tailored for business owners and directors.

The portal is part of the existing platform U Leap, or Learning Enabled through Active Participation.

The new initiative was launched by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Secretary-General of NTUC, on Wednesday (March 13) at a Conference on Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Digitalisation and Technology.

The U Leap platform was launched in 2017 and has over 200 e-learning modules for working professionals.

They cover topics such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), design, human resources, robotics and wholesale trade.

More than 10,000 users have tapped the platform since its launch, which is now also available in the form of a mobile application with bite-sized training courses for professionals on the go.

In a joint statement, the e2i and Human Capital Singapore (HCS) said it is important to include bosses on the platform in order "to support different community groups to acquire new knowledge and deepen their skills, bring about greater collaborations and speed up training".

"This new pillar within the U Leap ecosystem serves to address a need for community groups with common interests to access customised learning content and network with their peers," they added.

The U Leap platform, which was set up by e2i and HCS, now includes 14 modules for SME bosses, mostly covering topics in human resources.

This number is set to expand to 50 by the end of the year and cover skills related to leadership, organisational development and internationalisation of businesses.

HCS and e2i said the modules can help boost the bosses' leadership and human capital skills to drive change, stay on top of trends and upgrade their workers and companies.

e2i chief executive Gilbert Tan added: "It is critical to equip the SME business leaders with relevant skills and knowledge to help them transform and to stay ahead of the game.

"The U Leap Community for SME bosses will help time-strapped leaders to gain easy access to bite-sized learning, engage in discussions with peers and learn at their own pace."

Mr Richard Magnus, chairman of HCS management board, added: "The national drive towards digitisation cannot occur if not for an investment in training and education to upgrade the knowledge and skills of individuals and organisations."

During a panel discussion at the event at Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel, Mr Ng said progressive employers and workers can chart a path forward.

 

"Regardless whether you are young or old, have a learning attitude."

Ms Belinda Bay, director of welding products distributor Uniweld Products (USA), said: "SME bosses are always on the go, so this helps us to learn efficiently and caters to our needs. It also has quizzes to help me apply my learning.

Ms Bay, who took a course on how to attract and retain workers, which she said is useful for SMEs, said: "I prefer these bite-sized modules to a full sit-down course."