SIA Engineering launches training academy to help aviation sector improve work processes

Lean Academy instructor Colin Foo (left) explaining to Minister of State Gan Siow Huang how training is conducted using a scaled-down aircraft fuselage replica, at the academy on Sept 7, 2021.
Lean Academy instructor Colin Foo (left) explaining to Minister of State Gan Siow Huang how training is conducted using a scaled-down aircraft fuselage replica, at the academy on Sept 7, 2021.BT PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

SINGAPORE - A training academy to help employees and businesses in the aviation sector improve work processes was launched on Tuesday (Sept 7).

The Lean Academy by SIA Engineering Company aims to train about 4,000 staff at the company by early 2023, before it is opened up to other companies in the sector.

Lean refers to a systematic approach to reduce or eliminate wasteful steps in a process, keeping only the value-added parts.

For example, one Lean concept is on different areas of shop floor waste, such as overproduction - when one produces more than the next process can handle, or more than a customer wants.

The training curriculum includes hands-on projects and classroom learning as well as e-learning. It will be free for SIA Engineering staff.

For external learners, the academy will look at partnering SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore to map out courses based on the national skills framework.

Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Siow Huang, who attended the launch event, said that beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, employers will need to re-think their business strategies to keep up with the accelerating pace of disruptions.

"Companies have to push on with efforts to increase workforce productivity, by re-designing work processes or even entire job roles to be less labour-intensive," she said.

"Employees, too, will have to keep pace with these changes, refresh and update their skills, in order to stay relevant and employable in a rapidly changing future."

Ms Gan added that SIA Engineering's plans to help uplift the aviation industry will enable it to grow as an eco-system.



Ms Gan Siow Huang (right) engaging a trainee from Singapore Aero Support Services practising wirelocking skills at the Lean Academy on Sept 7, 2021. BT PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

SIA Engineering Company has invested more than $10 million in Lean training and development.

Chief executive Ng Chin Hwee said that in many of the Lean projects undertaken so far, there has been a 20 per cent to 30 per cent improvement in productivity.

"Staff benefited from a reduction in wasteful activities such as time loss to get spare (parts) and tools, and work duplication," he said.

"Through training, every individual can contribute and play a part in building this culture of continuous improvement."