SIA, NUHS among 8 firms in deals with Institute for Adult Learning to improve workplace learning

SIA, for instance, will co-develop programmes with the institute and the Singapore University of Social Sciences within the next three years. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Adult education will get another boost here after eight corporations, including Singapore Airlines (SIA) and National University Health System, signed agreements on Friday (Nov 19) with the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) to improve workplace learning capabilities.

SIA, for instance, will co-develop aviation-related postgraduate programmes, graduate courses and executive management programmes with IAL and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) within the next three years.

On Friday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said the deep, structural changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on global and local economies illustrate the value of workplace learning.

"Businesses have had to adjust and even revamp their processes in novel ways in order to remain competitive and to survive," he said. "Successful enterprise transformation is only possible if we also upgrade the capabilities of our workforce, so that they remain nimble and able to take advantage of new technological trends."

Speaking at an award ceremony by Learning Enterprise Alliance (LEA), Mr Chan said that close collaboration between IAL, SkillsFuture Singapore and SUSS is crucial for establishing a culture of lifelong learning to help organisations adapt quickly to technological disruption.

The agreements signed by the eight partners will drive enterprise transformation over three years.

Mr Tome Oh, chief operating officer of community and facility management company TS Group, expects its partnership to benefit hundreds of its employees through the establishment of a structured training system.

"Some of these initiatives include enhancing on-the-job training systems and processes, accelerating manpower skilling for new operations executives, and developing a robust and effective training framework," he added.

In his speech, Mr Chan said more than 80 enterprises have joined the LEA network since its launch in 2018 to promote workplace learning and facilitate knowledge sharing among organisations.

He commended SIA, Lim Kee Food Manufacturing and DP Dental for having the foresight to invest in the future by training workers despite the tough economic conditions. They were among 19 recipients recognised at Friday's ceremony.

DP Dental, for example, is partnering IAL to develop a formal workplace learning curriculum to speed up the onboarding of new hires so that they can perform day-to-day tasks within two months.

Said Mr Chan: "DP Dental shows us that it is not just the larger and better-resourced companies which can pursue workplace learning.

"Regardless of size, all companies can and should invest in and benefit from upskilling their workforce and management teams."

Separately, a new graduate certificate in workplace learning was announced on Friday.

The initiative run by IAL and SUSS is expected to begin early next year.

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