In his Budget 2022 speech, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced that the Government is setting aside $100 million to scale up efforts to help companies implement concrete training and transformation programmes through their company training committees (Budget 2022: $100m set aside to help firms implement training and transformation plans, Feb 18).
Since 2019, affiliated unions, together with the National Trades Union Congress, have identified skills and training required for workers to keep up with digital transformation through these training committees.
In 2017, the Union of Power and Gas Employees launched a Skills Upgrading Grant, which provides an annual training subsidy of up to $500 for members. Close to 400 members have benefited from this initiative.
Many members viewed this as an opportunity to upskill, and enrolled in diploma and degree programmes. Some took classes that matched their interests or could create future income opportunities.
As a strong advocate of training and career progression, the union is committed to ensuring members can access relevant resources and tools.
As workers continue to take ownership of their skill development and acquire skills in growth areas, employers must play their part too. While operations remain a priority, employers must try to give their staff the relevant knowledge and skills to help raise the company's competitiveness.
Staying relevant and competitive empowers workers to pivot to jobs in demand.
Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab
Union of Power and Gas Employees