Community care organisations in Singapore to get help to adopt tech and innovation

Education Minister Lawrence Wong interacts with Mr Ali Y Aladdin (right), CEO of KroniKare at SIT@Dover, on Nov 13, 2020. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Community care organisations will get a boost in their efforts to adopt technology and innovation to enhance skills and talent development.

More than 100 organisations in the sector will get support over the next three years under a new tie-up between Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Areas of support include healthcare innovation, process improvement, technology adoption and workplace learning, as well as the expansion of job roles and the deepening of skills in the sector.

For a start, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will share its expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) wound solution, lean transformation and community care skills training.

On Friday (Nov 13), the hospital was appointed the first SkillsFuture "Queen Bee" partner for the community care sector.

"Queen Bee" companies are industry leaders identified by SkillsFuture.

The aim is to engage them to play a role in the lifelong learning movement, to train not just their own employees but the wider industry, raising skill levels of the whole value chain.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong was at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) on Friday (Nov 13) where a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the hospital, university and SSG.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Wong described the community care sector as being quite fragmented, with many small entities all over the island.

"All of them will have issues or concerns about training and upgrading their manpower, filling up positions... Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, because of its scale and because it is a leader, has been able to work effectively with different companies to make use of IT to automate processes, optimise them and reduce its reliance on manpower.

"These are the learnings that we hope Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital can help to share with other organisations," said Mr Wong.

Under the MOU, the hospital will deliver masterclasses through its Community Training Institute training wing to leaders and professionals from community care organisations and their value chain partners, on business environment analysis, strategy development and monitoring of effectiveness.

It will also conduct workshops covering topics relevant to community care organisations, such as digitalisation, change management, agile thinking and digital transformation, to strengthen their service delivery model.

The university on Friday separately launched the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning at SIT (NACE @ SIT) - the first workplace learning centre in an autonomous university.

It is the second such centre in Singapore, and was first announced by the Education Ministry during the debate on the ministries' budgets earlier this year.

NACE  @  SIT will deliver workplace learning projects and develop a community of learning organisations that will support enterprises, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises, in building their workplace learning systems and capabilities.

It will focus on the community care sector as one of its priority sectors and play a role in the MOU by tapping SIT's network and experience in applied learning and best-in-class practices.

This will support Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital in identifying skills gaps in the sector and training for the community care sector.

Dr Ow Chee Chung, the hospital's chief executive, said: "Through this strategic partnership with SSG and NACE @ SIT, we are able to sharpen, as well as deepen, the courses and training available at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital's Community Training Institute.

"In addition, with this mandate and the resources from our collaboration, we will be able to reach out to more community care organisations, thereby enhancing the skills of the sector and improving our standard of care."

SIT president Tan Thiam Soon added: "We recognise the importance of collaborating with the industry - not just for the purposes of our students' work attachments and applied research, but also in the building of workplace competencies."

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