SINGAPORE: The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) is taking a fresh approach in its productivity outreach to small and medium enterprises.
This year, the institute will be rolling out a mass adoption programme on selected productivity projects under its Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP).
It aims to get as many SMEs on board with projects which can be easily implemented.
The IGP was launched in 2010 to encourage companies improve productivity.
Last year, the scheme received a boost of S$70 million from the government. So far, e2i have committed some S$35 million to 670 productivity projects.
A total of 480 companies have tapped into the programme.
The institute wants more companies to participate and one way to achieve this is to identify simple productivity projects which can be used immediately.
Gilbert Tan, acting chief executive officer at e2i’s, cited making payments easier in restaurants as an example.
Mr Tan explained: "Can it be such that I just come with a portable thing that ties in with the point of sales to your order. You check it and if it is okay, I swipe my credit card on the machine, sign on it and immediately the receipt can be e—mailed to you without having to use paper at all."
The institute intends to get the involvement of various business associations to roll out productivity projects in a bigger way.
It hopes to draw on the association’s connections and network for greater outreach.
In addition, Mr Tan said this can be done based on the location of establishments.
Mr Tan said: "For example, if I have got solutions for F&B, I could potentially go and talk to (the management of) a big mall and ask if we can find a way to implement it across the entire mall. So, for retail and F&B, a lot of them will be in malls... We can target the manager of the area and get it all adopted at one go."
For a start, e2i is targeting the F&B, retail and cleaning sectors for this mass adoption of productivity projects.
The institute hopes this can spur more simple yet useful ideas.
However, it’s not just about being more efficient.
A key element of the IGP is for companies to share gains from productivity, thereby raising the salary of low—wage workers.
So far, a total of 48,000 workers have benefited from the programme.
Two—thirds of them would have had their wages go up by at least 10 per cent.
Later this year, workers can look forward to the new continuing and training centre (CET) at Jurong East.
The Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability is expected to open in the last quarter of 2013.
E2i said the new CET centre will help ramp up training places for workers by some 10 per cent.
Last year, e2i providing training for about 60,000 workers. A second campus at Paya Lebar is also being built.
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