SINGAPORE: SPRING Singapore (SPRING) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will set aside a total of S$2.3 million to roll out two new training programmes for 90 productivity consultants in the retail, food services and manufacturing sectors over three years under the "Productivity Consultancy Training Programme" initiative.
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, announced this at the Business Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony held on Tuesday.
SPRING and WDA have engaged the Japan Productivity Centre (JPC) to develop the "Productivity Consultant Training Programme (Retail and Food Services)" contextualised for the local retail and food services sectors.
The consultants will support the productivity upgrading efforts of companies in the two sectors, which are mostly SMEs and together, comprise 26,500 establishments who employ 6.5 per cent of the workforce as well as contribute to about 2.3 per cent of GDP.
SPRING and WDA said in a joint statement that JPC, the leading national productivity body in the Asian Productivity Organization network, was engaged as the retail and food services enterprises in Japan share similar characteristics and productivity challenges as those in Singapore.
WDA is partnering A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) to roll out a "Manufacturing Productivity Associates" initiative to support manufacturing companies in the conceptualisation and implementation of productivity improvement initiatives.
The associates will support the productivity upgrading efforts of the manufacturing sector, which comprises over 9,000 establishments, employs 20 per cent of the workforce and contribute S$57.7 billion in value added, or about 25 per cent of GDP.
SPRING’s chief executive, Mr Png Cheong Boon, said: "One of the key challenges faced by the retail and food services sectors is an acute shortage of competent consultants with good domain knowledge to help SMEs implement productivity improvement projects.
"About S$1.3 million has been set aside to train 70 local productivity consultants with domain expertise in the two sectors over three years. I am confident that JPC, which has trained more than 6,000 consultants in different countries, is well—placed to undertake the training of productivity consultants for our retail and food services sectors."
WDA’s chief executive, Mr Wong Hong Kuan, added: "The collaboration with SPRING Singapore to roll out the Productivity Consultancy Training Programme to boost productivity in the services and manufacturing sectors is a timely one amid a tightening labour market.
In particular for the manufacturing sector, WDA seeks to groom a pool of productivity experts, who with highly specialised training, will be equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge to help companies, especially resource—stretched SMEs that may not have the necessary capabilities to streamline their work processes and implement productivity improvement measures."
One of the key challenges faced by the retail and food services sectors is an acute shortage of competent productivity consultants with good domain knowledge who can help companies in productivity improvement projects.
Currently, there is no training programme in Singapore that equips consultants with productivity know—how for specific sectors.
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